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However, Justice Rita Garman wrote for the majority that “there are rational, reasonable arguments in support of having a higher age threshold for appearance in pornography than for consent to sexual activity.” These include the view that “[m]emorialization of the sexual act makes permanent an intimate encounter that can then be distributed to third parties. It will always be out there, hanging over the head of the person depicted performing the sexual act.” The majority, however, made a critical decision in the standard of review — rejecting the claims of protected speech in the act of photographing intimate conduct. This low standard followed a concession by the defense counsel that no fundamental constitutional rights, including first amendment rights, were implicated in the case. Moreover, the state can argue that sextexting has become a serious problem among minors.These concerns are exacerbated in the modern digital age, where once a picture or video is uploaded to the Internet, it can never be completely erased or eradicated . Yet, while I thought the majority had some strong points, there are first amendment concerns raised by the criminalization of photos if they are purely consensual and private. No one would seriously disagree with the criminalization of taking such photos for commercial purposes or for distribution.Those sites that do conduct background checks, but continue to let people with shady pasts keep their memberships, must tell users their screenings are not fool proof.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.Here is a brief summary of legal age laws in Illinois.Age of Majority in Illinois Children become adults in the eyes of the law at age 18 in most states, including Illinois.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.That creates an interesting conflict that a person can have the right to consent to sex but not the right to consent to be photographed having sex. Two justices – Anne Burke and Charles Freeman – dissented, arguing that the Court did not have to accept the concession and that it should have required briefing on the first amendment question. The photographs are therefore not child pornography as defined by the Supreme Court for purposes of the first amendment.
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.Learn more about Illinois' legal age laws in the following table.