Articles Tagged with sex crimes

tim-gouw-ScWvHUtQca4-unsplash-copy-300x200There are quite a few threads in this one. According to police, 28-year-old Jason Taylor posed as a rideshare driver to assault a woman he met on Tinder. Police say that Jason Taylor used a false identity on the app and appeared to be stalking college students

Police also say that Taylor began chatting with two Northwestern students who later refused to meet with him. He then began harassing them online. 

In the case of the woman whom he did allegedly assault, it is unclear what their interaction was prior to the event. Taylor is being questioned in connection with a number of other sexual assaults that occurred around the Evanston area and beyond. Northwestern police are asking that anyone with information come forward at this time.

joanna-kosinska-61432-unsplash-copy-300x200Is it ever worth it to take a plea? Not if you are Robert Kraft, the owner of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. The prosecution offered Kraft a sweetheart deal on two misdemeanor solicitation charges. If Kraft agreed to state that “he would have been proven guilty had the case gone to trial” then the prosecution would drop all the charges. But Kraft and his attorney, smelling blood in the water, wants to force the prosecution to actually prove their case in court or dismiss the charges outright. Why?

Everyone knows that Kraft did exactly what he is being accused of, but the problem is not that he did it, it is how the prosecution came by the evidence that he did it. Essentially, police officers have Robert Kraft on video receiving sexual favors from working girls at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. So, why is he not dead to rights, and why is the prosecution extending him such a great deal?

In order to understand that, we have to delve a little deeper into how they came by that information.

Baseball_capThe Chicago Tribune reports that the Naperville police are offering a $1,000 reward for information about the motorist who exposed himself to a 15-year-old girl on July 15 near Prairie and Charles Avenues. Apparently the suspect, a white male in his mid-40’s to early-50’s, drove past the girl as she was riding her bike down the street, stopped a short distance in front of her, and emerged from his vehicle wearing only a baseball cap. The police note that the man covered his genitals and did not say anything as the girl biked past him. While the girl was not physically harmed, the man will still likely face a public indecency charge if the police are able to find him.

Public Indecency in Illinois

Public indecency, referred to as indecent exposure in some states, is a criminal offense in Illinois. While some people view flashing as a harmless act, exposing yourself under some circumstances can land you in a lot of legal trouble. Under Illinois law 720 ILCS 5/11-30 any person who is 17-years-old or older commits the crime of public indecency if he or she engages in either of the following acts in a public place:

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According to the Chicago Tribune, a Pittsburgh Pirates infielder who was in town to play the Chicago Cubs on June 17 has been accused of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman in Chicago. The sexual assault allegation is currently being investigated by police, but the baseball player has not yet been charged with a crime. According to the police, the Chicago woman made contact with the infielder via a dating app and the two agreed to meet at his hotel room at approximately 10 p.m. The woman alleges that that he served her one alcoholic drink that caused her to black out roughly 15 minutes later, and that he sexually assaulted her while she drifted in and out of consciousness. The alleged victim had a rape kit done two days later and filed a complaint with the police 10 days after the alleged sexual assault took place. While this woman took action quickly to have a rape kit done and file a police report, it is important to know that after a sexual assault occurs there is a timeframe within which rape kits must be done and sexual assault charges must be filed in order to be effective.

Rape Kits

A ‘rape kit’, also referred to as a Sexual Assault Evidence Kit (SAEK), is a sexual assault forensic exam kit that is used to collect DNA evidence from a victim’s body, clothing, and other personal belongings after a crime is committed. Rape kits are used to help sexual assault victims preserve possible DNA evidence in case they decide to report that they were attacked. During a sexual assault forensic exam the survivor will generally be examined from head-to-toe, evidence will be collected, and follow up care will be recommended. According to Cleveland.com, rape kits can usually recover testable evidence within 96 hours of an assault. Therefore, the fact that the alleged victim in the sexual assault case outlined above had a rape kit conducted two days after she went to the baseball player’s hotel room should not have prevented DNA evidence from being collected.

file000925712800Prostitution has been called the “oldest profession in the world,” probably because it has been around since the beginning of time. Since sex is considered a trade by those involved in the industry, can it therefore be surmised that a sexual assault and battery on a person involved in the industry not be considered a true crime?

Some time ago, a Chicago Sun-Times editor by the name of Mary Mitchell ran an article stating that in her opinion, a sexual assault and battery on a prostitute is nothing more than a “theft of services,” and not a rape. It is Mitchell’s belief that in considering the sexual assault of a prostitute working in the “industry” a rape, did nothing more than minimize the act of rape of “real” victims and, therefore, an insult to those whom she labeled as “real” victims. It begs the question whether Mitchell would also not consider a wife who had been raped by her husband, a “real” victim.

Mitchell proceeded to blame the victim for the assault, because, in her opinion, the very nature of the sex industry meant that the victim was agreeing to exchange sex for money, and by doing so, she also accepted any risk involved. Is she right? See HuffPost Chicago for more on this story.

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Public indecency in Chicago is a complicated and serious criminal charge. The penalties and other consequences you face will depend on the circumstances surrounding the incident. In most cases, the crime of public indecency is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. The gist of being charged with public indecency is that you exposed yourself in a public place. If you are convicted of public indecency, you face up to a year in jail, and a maximum fine of $2500. The most problematic part of being charged with public indecency is that it is considered a sex crime, and in some situations, those convicted of public indecency will have to register in Illinois as a sex offender, after serving whatever sentence is imposed by the judge. Any person who is under the age of 16 cannot be prosecuted for public indecency, although they can face charges of disorderly conduct for behavior that would be charged as public indecency in an older person.

Elements of a Public Indecency Charge

file2261243267180Illinois is extremely hard on those convicted of sex crimes. In many cases, the law requires those convicted of sex crimes to register on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry, which is a public database. For any number of reasons, people fail to register or renew their registration, sometimes through no fault of their own. So, what happens if you do not register?

Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in Illinois

Failing to register as a sex offender in Illinois, or failing to renew your registration, means you can be charged with a Class 3 felony. If it is the second or subsequent time that you failed to register as a sex offender, or failed to renew your registration as a sex offender, then you can be charged with a Class 2 felony. This means that you will be required to spend a minimum of seven days in jail and pay a minimum fine of $500, although a Class 2 felony could carry a sentence of three to seven years.

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Jerad Gale, chosen as “Officer of the Year” for the Champaign Police Department, has been arrested for raping and strangling two different women. Since his arrest, another victim and a former girlfriend have come forward alleging similar crimes were committed against them by Gale, and he faces those charges as well. He was also accused of sexual assault in 2007, but was unable to be prosecuted due to a three-year statute of limitations. Somehow, he was awarded the Officer of the Year honor in spite of this. He is not likely to repeat that award, and in fact, prosecutors are trying to have him named a “sexually dangerous person.”

What is a “Sexually Dangerous Person” in Illinois?

The Illinois Sexually Dangerous Persons Act (“The Act”) defines “sexually dangerous persons” as all persons suffering from a mental disorder for longer than a year who have also “criminal propensities” to commit sex offenses and have either committed prior acts of sexual assault or sexual molestation of children. Pursuant to this definition, the prosecutors in this case are seeking a designation of “sexually dangerous person” for Gale, and his motion to dismiss the petition has been denied.

criminal recordMany people who have been convicted of a sex crime in Illinois wonder whether the offense can be expunged. There are limited circumstances in which this is possible, but it can occasionally be done. As each situation is different, it is important to consult an experienced attorney for guidance in getting your conviction expunged.

What is a Sex Offense in Illinois?

Under Illinois law, a sex offense is a crime that involves sexual misconduct. This includes assault, child pornography, statutory rape (even if the alleged perpetrator is under the age of consent at the time as well), and others. If you are convicted of a sex offense in Illinois, then you will be considered a sex offender by the state of Illinois, and you may even have to register as such for a minimum term of 10 years on the Sex Offenders Registry.

The recent revelation that Josh Duggar, oldest son of “19 Kids and Counting” stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, molested at least three of his sisters and an unrelated female when he was 14 years old has raised questions about criminal prosecution of child sexual abuse cases and who qualifies as a mandatory reporter.2810599755_08a0a1574b

Statute of Limitations for Illinois Child Sexual Abuse

With the exception of murder and several other violent crimes, every crime has a statute of limitations attached to it. The statute of limitations specifies the amount of time the prosecutor has to file charges against a suspect for his alleged involvement in the crime. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for aggravated criminal sexual abuse (defined as sexual contact with a minor who is a family member) is 10 years, if the victim reported the crime within three years of commission of the crime.

In certain circumstances, however, the statute of limitations is tolled. This means that the time limit does not start running until a different time as specified under law. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for aggravated criminal sexual abuse doesn’t begin to run until the victim turns 18, at which point she has 20 years to press charges. So if a child is sexually assaulted when she is three years old, she has until she is 38 years old to press charges against her alleged attacker – meaning the abuser can potentially be prosecuted for his crime 35 years after it happened.

Many people have questioned why charges cannot now be filed against Josh Duggar. If the abuse had taken place in Illinois, the Duggar sisters, who are in their early 20s, would still be able to press charges, as the statute of limitations only began to run when they turned 18. However, there is a difference between whether a crime may be prosecuted from a legal standpoint, and whether it may be prosecuted from a practical one. It appears that the sisters would make very uncooperative witnesses, which would make it difficult for the prosecution to move forward with a case. This is not an uncommon occurrence in sex crimes cases; the prosecution can have sufficient evidence to corroborate the crime, but is unlikely to move forward if the victim expresses an unwillingness to cooperate.

Illinois Mandatory Reporters and Child Sexual Abuse

In a televised interview discussing the abuse, the Duggar parents said that they did not initially report the abuse to the authorities because they are not mandatory reporters. A mandatory reporter is any person required by law to report a suspicion of child abuse or neglect, and includes teachers, doctors, daycare workers and therapists. Parents are not mandatory reporters in Illinois.

However, parents have a responsibility to protect their child from harm, and while failing to report your child for sexual abuse may not lead to criminal prosecution under the mandatory reporting statute, it could lead to criminal charges of neglect or child endangerment for failing to remove either the victim or the abuser from the home in order to protect the victim from further abuse.

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