There are a wide variety of laws covering the issue of sex crimes, but it can generally be said that any kind of sexual activity that involves another without their consent is a crime. The most serious of these crimes is criminal sexual assault, also referred to as rape. Rape is any sexual penetration by force or threat of force, without consent of the victim, or against a minor by an adult. Aggravated criminal sexual assault, or aggravated rape, is a sexual assault under certain aggravating circumstances, such as using or displaying a weapon, causing bodily harm, or assaulting a victim under the age of 9 or over the age of 60.

Criminal sexual abuse is a related crime, but distinct in that it does not require force or the threat of force. Instead it focuses on the exploitation of those who are incapacitated or otherwise unable to give their consent, either because they are too young or mentally disabled. The statutory definition typically allows for all sexual conduct and does not require sexual penetration.