Although molestation is a serious sex crime, it doesn’t require physical or sexual contact with an alleged victim. You can be charged and convicted of this crime for various alleged activities that don’t involve physical interaction with someone.
If you were charged with a sex crime in Illinois, you're probably feeling scared and confused. Sex crimes carry serious penalties, and the stigma associated with these charges can follow you for the rest of your life. In this post, we'll explore the definition of molestation, what actions can lead to a molestation charge, and what you can do if you’re facing charges.
What Is Molestation in Illinois?
Molestation is a term that is often used interchangeably with sexual abuse or sexual assault. In Illinois, the term molestation is not specifically defined under the law, but it is generally used to describe any kind of unwanted sexual behavior towards another person—especially a minor. This can include touching, fondling, or engaging in sexual acts with someone without their consent. However, it's important to note that molestation doesn't always involve physical contact.
Examples of Molestation Without Sexual Contact
In some cases, molestation can involve verbal or emotional abuse. This could include making sexually explicit comments or gestures towards another person, sending sexually explicit messages, or exposing oneself to another person. While these actions may not involve physical contact, they could still be considered molestation under Illinois law if they are unwelcome and unwanted by the other person.
Molestation Can Occur Regardless of Age or Gender
It's also worth noting that molestation can occur between people of any age or gender. While it's most commonly associated with adults victimizing children, anyone can be a victim of molestation. This can include adults victimizing other adults, as well as children victimizing other children. In some cases, the victim may not even be aware that they are being molested, especially if the abuse is emotional or psychological in nature.
What to Do If You’re Charged with Molestation
If you've been charged with molestation, it's important to understand that the prosecution will need to prove that you engaged in unwanted sexual behavior towards the alleged victim. This could include physical contact, but it could also include other types of behavior that are considered molestation under Illinois law. Additionally, the prosecution will need to prove that the alleged victim did not consent to the behavior. This can be a complicated issue, especially if there are questions about whether or not the alleged victim was able to give consent.
That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights. Your attorney can help you understand the charges against you and build a strong defense, potentially reducing or even dismissing the charges. The Law Office of Steven Fine can provide such legal support when you’re facing these serious sex crime charges.
Contact us online to learn more about how we can help.