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. 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. The sex was fine but the photos were the crime.
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. In this case, the girl’s mother found the pictures on her daughter’s email. Hollins was already a registered sex offender.