The Illinois Supreme Court handed down an interesting decision on Thursday where it ruled that it was not illegal for an adult man to have sex with a 17-year-old girl but it was illegal to film it.
Marshall Hollins, 32, was arrested in March 2009 and charged with three counts of child pornography after photographing himself having sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend. In Illinois the age of consent for sex in Illinois is 17, but it is illegal to photograph anyone under the age of 18 engaged in a sexual act.
This would allow a sixteen year old to lawfully have sex with a fourteen year old, but make it criminal for an eighteen year old to have sex with that same fourteen year old.
When it comes to the law, however, the line is generally pretty clear in separating minors and adults.
Here is a brief summary of legal age laws in Illinois.
Statutory rape occurs when a person over the age of consent engages in sexual intercourse with someone under the statutory age of consent, also known as a minor.
In most states, the age of consent has been arbitrarily designated by statute.
Federal law makes it criminal to engage in a sexual act with another person who is between the age of 12 and 16 if they are at least four years younger than you.
Each state takes a different approach as the age of consent has ranged from 10 to 18.
Parents and their children may never agree on when teenagers are “grown up” enough.
While kids feel like they’ve been grownups for years, their parents remain on the “You’re not old enough yet” side.
Some states, such as California and New York, set an age at which all sexual intercourse is considered statutory rape.
For example, a state might set the age of consent at 18.
Additional Resources for Legal Age Laws State laws can change frequently.