The crime of Sexual Exploitation of a Child in Illinois is defined by 720 ILCS 5/11-9.1:
(a) A person commits sexual exploitation of a child if in the presence or virtual presence, or both, of a child and with knowledge that a child or one whom he or she believes to be a child would view his or her acts, that person:
(1) engages in a sexual act; or
(2) exposes his or her sex organs, anus or breast for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of such person or the child or one whom he or she believes to be a child.
(a-5) A person commits sexual exploitation of a child who knowingly entices, coerces, or persuades a child to remove the child’s clothing for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of the person or the child, or both.
(b) Definitions. As used in this Section:
“Sexual act” means masturbation, sexual conduct or sexual penetration as defined in Section 11-0.1 of this Code.
“Sex offense” means any violation of Article 11 of this Code or Section 12-5.01 of this Code.
“Child” means a person under 17 years of age.
“Virtual presence” means an environment that is created with software and presented to the user and or receiver via the Internet, in such a way that the user appears in front of the receiver on the computer monitor or screen or hand held portable electronic device, usually through a web camming program. “Virtual presence” includes primarily experiencing through sight or sound, or both, a video image that can be explored interactively at a personal computer or hand held communication device, or both.
“Webcam” means a video capturing device connected to a computer or computer network that is designed to take digital photographs or live or recorded video which allows for the live transmission to an end user over the Internet.
Sexual Exploitation of a Child is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, which carries up to a year in the county jail for a first offense. A second offense is a Class 4 felony, which can result in a term of 1-3 years in prison. A person who has been previously convicted of any other sex offense is also charged with a Class 4 felony for a first offense of Sexual Exploitation of a Child in Illinois, or if the alleged victim is under 13 years of age, or if the offense is committed near a school.
Those facing a Sexual Exploitation of a Child charge in Illinois are wise to seek an attorney at once.