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Understand the basics of statutory rape

It is usually a serious situation when Illinois residents find themselves facing sexual offense charges, especially if one of the charges is statutory rape. It is important for people to understand what statutory rape is and what Illinois law says about this offense.

FindLaw says that statutory rape means someone has engaged in sexual activity with a person who is not old enough to give legal consent. The age of consent generally differs from state to state, so it is important for people to know the age of consent in Illinois. Many people may think that statutory rape means that someone engaged in sexual relations with a person against their will. However, this is not necessarily the case. Someone might face this charge even if the other person was a willing partner simply because the other person is not old enough to give legal consent.  

Many elements determine the consequences a person faces once he or she receives a statutory rape charge. A court might consider the age of the people involved. If one of them is just below the age of consent, for example, while the other is only one or two years older, the situation may not be considered statutory rape. A court might also look at someone's criminal record to see if he or she has any sex offenses on his or her record. 

People may face serious consequences when a court charges them with statutory rape. According to AgeOfConsent.net, Illinois residents have to be 17 years old to consent to sexual activity. This means that if someone engages in sexual relations with a person younger than 17, he or she may face a statutory rape charge. This offense is usually a felony. The classification of the felony typically depends on the particular situation; a court usually considers the ages of the people involved and the kinds of sex acts which occurred. If a person's charges include indecent solicitation of a minor, for example, he or she may face between 1 and 15 years of imprisonment, depending on the specifics of the situation.  

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