Kidnapping is a serious felony crime that may result in jail time and other harsh consequences in the case of a conviction.  An aggravated kidnapping conviction may result in an even tougher sentence, including a longer term of imprisonment and higher fines. The difference between the offenses of kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping are governed by Illinois criminal laws. A recent Chicago case demonstrates the severity of the charges in a kidnapping case involving a very young child.

The Sun Times reports that on Monday, September 30, 28-year-old Chicago resident Jose Reyes was charged with kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, and unlawful restraint, which are all felony crimes. Mr. Reyes was being held at the Lake County jail on a $5 million bond. The charges were laid after Mr. Reyes allegedly kidnapped a three-year-old girl near her home. Mr. Reyes had allegedly been scoping out the area and handing candy out to children earlier in the day before the kidnapping.

The three-year-old girl, her mother and older sister had just come back from a shopping trip when the alleged kidnapping occurred. The girls and their mother were walking back to their condo building when Mr. Reyes stopped the two young girls. The girls’ mother had gone through the first set of doors to the condo building when she noticed that her children were stopped outside. After a fifteen second conversation with the girls, Mr. Reyes allegedly picked up the three-year-old and put her into his car. So far, investigators have found no familial connection between the girls and Mr. Reyes.

Mr. Reyes was apprehended after a witness saw his car drive away and a security camera caught him dropping off the three-year-old in a rear parking lot of the condo building. The girl was taken to the hospital, and was doing well.

Illinois Kidnapping Law

As the report notes, Mr. Reyes was charged of both kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping. Under 720 ILCS 5/10-1, a person commits kidnapping when he or she secretly confines another person against his or her will or if by force or threat of imminent force he or she carries that person from one place to another with the intent to confine that person. Kidnapping includes confining a child under the age of 13-years-old or a mentally disabled person. Kidnapping is a Class 2 felony.

Aggravated kidnapping is governed by 720 ILCS 5/10-2. Aggravated kidnapping is essentially kidnapping when aggravating factors are present. Some of these factors include: kidnapping for ransom; kidnapping a child under the age of 13 years; inflicting great bodily harm against the victim; concealing one’s identity during the kidnapping; and committing the kidnapping while armed. In most cases, aggravated kidnapping is a Class X felony.

Both kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping are punishable by jail time. In addition, aggravated kidnapping is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000. If you have been charged with violating Illinois criminal laws you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced attorney. Contact Goldman & Associates today for a confidential consultation.