Felony crimes can be committed in an endless number of scenarios. Drug crimes, violent crimes, sexual crimes, and property theft crimes all seem like the typical felony crimes that grace the pages of the newspaper and internet news sites each day. Sometimes, however, reporters catch news stories that involve lesser known crimes that are still felonies under Illinois law. This week two Chicago men face charges after being arrested for several crimes, including the lesser-known crime of intimidation.
A 73-year-old Catholic priest was allegedly confronted by two men at a South Side Chicago church over the weekend, after he had just finished celebrating Mass. The Chicago Tribune reports that after Mass, the priest noticed two men sitting in the back of the church. At some point, one of the men, 20-year-old Markquis Little demanded money from the priest. His associate, 22-year-old Deandrea Little, then allegedly poked the priest on the forehead and threatened him with physical harm. Mr. Little also allegedly threatened to go to the press with fabricated sexual assault allegations against the priest if he did not give them the money that they asked for.
The priest told the young men that he did not have any money, and they later left after standing around. The priest told officers that this was not his first encounter with the two men. In fact, the two had been demanding money from the priest as far back as four years ago. The priest alleges that over the years he has given over $10,000 to the young men. He also reported that the two men broke windows at the church and damaged his property in the past.
NBC Chicago reports that the two men were arrested and were scheduled to appear in court on Monday. They were ultimately charged with felony stalking, felony attempted robbery, and felony intimidation.
720 ILCS 5/12-6 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes governs the crime of intimidation. Under Illinois law, a person commits the crime of intimidation if he or she communicates to another person a threat to do a certain act with the intent to cause the person to perform or omit the performance of an act. The statute enumerates the specific acts that, when threatened, may constitute intimidation. They include: inflicting physical harm on the person who is being threatened; accusing a person of an offense; exposing the victim to hatred, contempt, or ridicule; and committing a felony or Class A misdemeanor. Intimidation is a Class 3 felony. Under the statute, an offender may be sentenced to a prison term between two and ten years.
Illinois law also establishes the crime of aggravated intimidation. Aggravated intimidation is essentially intimidation with certain additional factors involved. Two of those factors include committing intimidation in furtherance of gang activity and committing intimidation with the purpose of preventing another person from being a community policing volunteer. Other factors pertain to certain characteristics of the victim. Aggravated intimidation is a Class 1 felony, for which a term of imprisonment between 3 and 14 years may be imposed.
If you have been charged with violating Illinois criminal laws, you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact Goldman & Associates today for a confidential consultation.