The internet makes almost everything easier, faster, and more convenient than ever, including dating. However, meeting up and having sex with a person from a dating site may lead to charges for felony crimes if that person is under a certain age. In the digital age it is sometimes difficult to determine how old a person really is by their online dating profile. However, online dating site visitors should always proceed with extreme caution or else possibly face charges for sexual assault of a minor.
An 18 or 19-year-old Buffalo Grove man likely knows the realities of meeting up with someone through an online dating website after he was arrested this week. According to The Chicago Tribune, Tal Vardy, whose defense attorneys state is 18-years-old contrary to the Assistant State Attorney General, met a 12-year-old girl on an online dating website in mid-February of this year. The two exchanged photos online at first, and then Mr. Vardy allegedly picked her up and drove her to a parking lot in Oak Forest. Mr. Vardy and the young girl allegedly had sex two times in the parking lot. Reports state that Mr. Vardy asked the girl to turn off her cellphone so that her mother would not bother them in the parking lot.
The two left the parking lot and Mr. Vardy dropped the young girl back off at her home. When she returned home, the girl reported to her mother that she was sexually assaulted. The mother and daughter informed the police of what had happened and the girl went to the hospital for a rape kit. The rape kit DNA samples, which were returned recently, match Mr. Vardy’s DNA.
Mr. Vardy’s attorneys maintain that he thought that the young girl was an adult. Mr. Vardy was arrested and his bail was set over the weekend at $150,000. He ultimately faces the charge of predatory criminal sexual assault of a victim under the age of 13.
The charge that Mr. Vardy faces is serious. Under 720 ILCS 5/11-1.40, predatory criminal sexual assault of a victim under the age of 13, without additional factors, is a Class X felony. The sentence for that crime is a term of imprisonment between 6 and 60 years. A person commits predatory criminal sexual assault of a child when he or she is over the age of 17 and commits an even slight sexual act of penetration or contact with a person under the age of 13. Under the predatory criminal sexual assault of a child statute, the sentence is more severe if the offender was armed with a firearm or discharged a firearm, or injured or gave drugs to the victim.
Sex crimes are seriously prosecuted in Illinois and a conviction can bring with it lifelong consequences. If you have been charged with violating Illinois criminal laws, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney can review the specific facts of your case and craft a defense for you. Contact a defense attorney at Goldman & Associates today for a confidential consultation.