Sexual assault can happen anywhere, anytime. Some environments, however, are more conducive to sexual assault and harassment than others. Unfortunately, a college campus is one of them. Campus sexual assault can occur in student housing, shared public spaces such as libraries, dark parking lots, or at parties.
If you or your child has been the victim of campus sexual assault in Illinois, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC. In our years of experience, we have helped dozens of clients fight for compensation for sexual assault. Our attorneys will investigate your case and help you fight for justice. Call (888) 424-5757 today for your free consultation in Chicago.
Defining Sexual Assault in Illinois
Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 11-1-20 states that criminal sexual assault is the act of sexual penetration through use of force or threat of force. If the perpetrator knows the victim cannot understand the nature of the assault or cannot give knowing consent (e.g. due to intoxication), it is also criminal sexual assault. If the victim is under the age of 18 and the perpetrator is an adult in a position of authority (such as a professor), it is also criminal assault in Illinois.
Sexual assault includes the crime of rape in Illinois. Criminal sexual assault is a Class 1 felony. Its penalties can include four years to life in prison. The degree of the prison sentence will depend on whether the assailant has prior sexual assault convictions or if the crime reached the level of aggravated criminal sexual assault. Aggravated means the perpetrator used a weapon, threatened the victim with death, or committed the crime against a child under the age of eight or with mental disabilities.
Campus Sexual Assault FAQs
If you have questions about you or your child’s campus sexual assault case, find answers through a trustworthy law firm. Our lawyers will meet with you during a confidential consultation to discuss the specifics of your unique case. In the meantime, use these frequently asked questions to get some answers:
How Common is Campus Sexual Assault?
At least 11.2% of students experience sexual assault or rape through violence or physical force, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
Is a Sexual Assault Complaint Confidential?
What Qualifies as Consent?
Illinois law defines consent as a freely given agreement to sexual penetration or sexual conduct. Lack of resistance, submission because of threats, or what the individual is wearing does not constitute consent.
What Should I do About Campus Sexual Assault?
Speak to campus police immediately following the incident. The police can guide you to the correct clinic for evidence collection and a physical exam. They may also be able to detain the assailant. Then, follow your campus’s reporting protocols. Next, contact an attorney for help with a civil lawsuit.
Should I File a Lawsuit?
If a sexual assailant caused you physical injuries, emotional distress, mental anguish, poor academic performance, or other damages, filing a civil lawsuit could be in your best interests. A lawsuit exposes the assailant, gives you closure, and can result in compensation for your losses.
No student should have to live with campus sexual assault. Assault from a teacher, administrator, janitor, fellow student, or a stranger on campus deserves legal attention. Talk to an attorney right away about your potential sexual assault case. Asking the right questions is the first step toward justice for survivors.
What to do After Campus Sexual Assault
Knowing where to go for help after experience campus sexual assault can enable you to protect your rights as a victim. Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 ensures the basic right of all students to be free from sexual harassment or violence on and off campus. Under Title IX, most campus sexual assault cases depend on whether the victim gave consent. Although you have the option of remaining anonymous, this could impede your case down the road.
Once you report your experience to school officials, your school should take one to six months to follow up with an investigation. During your school’s investigation, local police can pursue criminal charges against the perpetrator. You may have to give a statement or other information about your attack. During the investigation, parents may be able to move the student to a safe place and enroll the student in counseling.
After speaking to the school and the local police department, contact an attorney. Hiring a lawyer to look into the campus sexual assault case can clarify your family’s rights and hold the perpetrator responsible for financial damages – not just the crime he or she committed. A civil lawsuit can be the only way to obtain restitution for the victim’s medical bills, pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, and psychological distress.
Contact Us Today to Discuss Your College Campus Sexual Assault Case
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, we help campus sexual assault victims fight for justice. We have the personnel, resources, and compassion to guide you through the civil claims process. Contact us for a free legal consultation at our Chicago, Illinois law office. Our consultations are always 100% confidential.