Consent Laws
Illinois

Last Updated: December 2017
Defining Consent Answer

How is consent defined?

Consent” means a freely given agreement to the act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct in question. Lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission by the victim resulting from the use of force or threat of force by the accused shall not constitute consent. The manner of dress of the victim at the time of the offense shall not constitute consent. A person who initially consents to sexual penetration or sexual conduct is not deemed to have consented to any sexual penetration or sexual conduct that occurs after he or she withdraws consent during the course of that sexual penetration or sexual conduct. 720 ILCS 5/11-1.70.

Does the definition require "freely given consent" or "affirmative consent"?

Yes, it requires “freely given agreement” to the act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct in question. 720 ILCS 5/11-1.70.






Capacity to Consent Answer

At what age is a person able to consent?

17 years old. 720 ILCS 5/11-1.60. However, if the actor is 17 years of age or older and holds a position of trust, authority, or supervision in relation to the victim, then the age of consent is 18 years old.

Does difference in age between the victim and actor impact the victim's ability to consent?

No.

Does elderly age impact the victim’s ability to consent?

No. However, the crime and punishment is more severe if the victim is 60 years of age or older. 720 ILCS 5/11-1.30; 720 ILCS 5/11-1.60.

Does developmental disability and/or mental incapacity impact the victim’s ability to consent?

Yes. A person commits a sex crime if that person knows that the victim is unable to understand the nature of the act or is unable to give knowing consent. 720 ILCS 5/11-1.20; 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50.

A person commits aggravated criminal sexual abuse if a person commits an act of sexual conduct with a victim who is a person with a severe or profound intellectual disability. 720 ILCS 5/11-1.60.

Does physical disability, incapacity or helplessness impact the victim’s ability to consent?

No. However, the crime and punishment is more severe if the victim is a person with a physical disability. 720 ILCS 5/11-1.30; 720 ILCS 5/11-1.60.

Does consciousness impact the victim’s ability to consent?

Yes. A person commits a sex crime if that person knows that the victim is unable to understand the nature of the act or is unable to give knowing consent. 720 ILCS 5/11-1.20; 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50.

Does intoxication impact the victim’s ability to consent?

Yes. A person commits a sex crime if that person knows that the victim is unable to understand the nature of the act or is unable to give knowing consent. 720 ILCS 5/11-1.20; 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50.

In addition, the crime and punishment is more severe if the accused delivers (by injection, inhalation, ingestion, transfer of possession, or any other means) any controlled substance to the victim without the victim’s consent or by threat or deception for other than medical purposes. 720 ILCS 5/11-1.30; 720 ILCS 5/11-1.60.

Does the relationship between the victim and actor impact the victim’s ability to consent?

Yes. A person commits custodial sexual misconduct when:

  • he or she is an employee of a penal system and engages in sexual conduct or sexual penetration with a person who is in the custody of that penal system; or
  • he or she is an employee of a treatment and detention facility and engages in sexual conduct or sexual penetration with a person who is in the custody of that treatment and detention facility. 720 ILCS 5/11-9.2.

Also, a probation or supervising officer, surveillance agent, or aftercare specialist commits custodial sexual misconduct when the probation or supervising officer, surveillance agent, or after case specialist engages in sexual conduct or sexual penetration with a probationer, parolee, or release, or person serving a term of conditional release who is under the supervisory, disciplinary, or custodial authority of the officer or agent or employee so engaging in the sexual conduct or sexual penetration. 720 ILCS 5/11-9.2.

In addition, a person commits sexual misconduct with a person with a disability when:

  • he or she is an employee and knowingly engages in sexual conduct or sexual penetration with a person with a disability who is under the care and custody of the Department of Human Services at a State-operated facility; or
  • he or she is an employee of a community agency funded by the Department of Human Services and knowingly engages in sexual conduct or sexual penetration with a person with a disability who is in a residential program operated or supervised by a community agency. 720 ILCS 5/11-9.5.





Defenses Answer

Is consent a defense to sex crimes?

Yes, consent is a defense to criminal sexual assault under section 11-1.20, aggravated criminal sexual assault under section 11-1.30, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child under section 11-1.40, criminal sexual abuse under section 11-1.50, or aggravated criminal sexual abuse under section 11-1.60 of the ILCS where force or threat of force is an element of the offense. 720 ILCS 5/11-1.70.

Is voluntary intoxication a defense to sex crimes?

No.









DNA evidence can increase likelihood of holding a perpetrator accountable.

Read More

Sexual violence has fallen by half in the last 20 years.

More Stats

The National Sexual Assault Hotline will always be free — with your help.

Donate Now