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Criminal sexual assault is a serious crime for which you can pay dearly if you are convicted. It is important to understand what actions constitute sexual assault and what actions can turn sexual assault into aggravated sexual assault or predatory sexual assault. If you have been charged with sexual assault, it is important to know what your options are. Only an experienced and skilled local criminal defense attorney can help you fully understand the consequences, but in this article, we will address the elements and punishments of the various sexual assault charges.


Criminal sexual assault refers to sexual penetration and one of the following:

  • Force or a threat of force; and
  • The victim was not capable to understand the nature of the action or give consent; or
  • The victim was under the age of majority (18) and the accused is a member of the victim’s family; or
  • The victim was between 13 and 18 years old and the accused was 17 years old or older and was someone the victim trusted or otherwise in a position of authority or seniority over the victim.

A first criminal sexual assault conviction is a Class 1 felony with a punishment of between 4 and 15 years of mandatory incarceration.  Subsequent convictions are Class X felonies and the punishments can range between 6 and 60 years or natural life mandatory incarceration.


Aggravated criminal sexual assault is a more serious crime than regular criminal sexual assault and contains more elements.

If the incident already satisfies the elements for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault is criminal sexual assault and one of the following:

  • The use of a dangerous weapon;
  • Actual bodily harm;
  • The use of threats to the victim’s life or another’s life;
  • The commission of another felony;
  • The victim being age 60 or older;
  • The victim being physically handicapped;
  • The victim being given a controlled substance by the accused; or
  • The accused had a firearm or discharged it.

Aggravated criminal sexual assault is also committed when there has been sexual penetration and one of the following:

  • The victim was 8 years old or under while the accused was under 17 years old;
  • The victim was ages 9 through 12 and there was force or a threat of force; or
  • The victim was severely mentally retarded, regardless of the age of the accused.

The first conviction for aggravated criminal sexual assault is a Class X felony which carries between 6 and 30 years of mandatory incarceration with possible extended terms.  Subsequent convictions can carry punishment up to the natural life of the convict in prison.

The stakes are high when you are facing such a serious offense.  It is important that you choose the best defense in the form of a strong advocate to help ensure that you do not waste years of your life in prison.  Eugene Fimbianti is a capable advocate who has experience that extends to the other side; he was a police officer and a prosecutor, so he knows how the other side thinks and works.  Contact The Law Offices of Eugene Fimbianti today.