3 Common Illinois Internet Sex Crimes

Internet Crime

The internet’s illusion of anonymity is no excuse for cyber-sex crimes. Digital conversations are never as veiled as we think, and unlawful acts on the internet are still subject to legal action. Therefore, Internet sex crimes are still sex crimes and are prosecuted accordingly.

The prevalence of internet access and use has led to an increase in internet sex crime charges. Common internet sex crimes include:

  • Sex trafficking.
  • Online solicitation of a minor.
  • Child pornography possession and distribution.

Each carries varying penalties and may result in lifetime sex offender registration. Sex crimes, including internet sex crimes, are prosecuted harshly and could lead to lengthy stints in prison. If you face sex crime charges in Illinois, an experienced sex crimes attorney will fight tirelessly to protect your freedom.

Online Sex Trafficking

Internet sex trafficking is a cybercrime that involves sexual exploitation via the internet, including the use of coercion, force, or fraud to facilitate abuse using digital media. Digital media may include webcams, pictures, or audio mediums. Grooming individuals on social media or via email for sexual abuse is common in cybersex trafficking cases.

Even if you never have sexual contact in person, you could still face sex trafficking charges if it can be shown that you intended to do so. Most sex trafficking convictions are Class 1 felonies and could result in a prison sentence of up to 15 years. Aggravating circumstances such as kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, sexual assault, or try to commit aggravated sexual assault could lead to a longer prison sentence under the Class X felony designation.

Child Pornography – Possession and Distribution

Pornography is more accessible than ever thanks to the internet; therefore, child pornography cases are also on the rise. Any photographic or video depiction of the sexual exploitation of someone under 18 is considered child pornography under Illinois law.

Producing, possessing, and distributing media depicting minors engaged in sexual conduct could lead to charges ranging from a Class 3 felony to a Class X felony. If convicted of the former, you may face five years behind bars and Illinois sex offender registration. Class X felonies are more severely penalized and could lead to up to 30 years.

Online Solicitation of a Minor

Did you know that communicating with a minor through the internet can be considered a sex crime in Illinois? Cut-and-dry examples of online solicitation of a minor include attempts to meet a minor in person to engage in sexual acts or asking for pictures and videos of a sexual nature from a child. There is some gray area, however. Therefore, it is essential to understand that you could be charged with online solicitation of a minor even if you never met the child in person or if the conversation was not sexual.

The prosecution must prove that you intended to abuse and exploit the child sexually. You could be staring down a felony criminal conviction if they succeed. Discussing sex or requesting sexual acts from a minor could be Class 1, 2, 3, or 4 felonies in Illinois, depending on the circumstance.

Contact an Illinois Cyber-Sex Crime Attorney

Penalties are variable for each of these crimes, and your defense attorney may be able to negotiate reduced or even dismissed charges in court. Police misconduct, lack of intent or knowledge, or lack of evidence must all be considered as your attorney builds your defense. Sex crime convictions can lead to decades in jail, high fines, and a lifetime of stigmatization, so it is imperative that you assemble a strong, experienced legal team to help you avoid these outcomes. Contact us today for a consultation.