Can Kissing a Child on the Lips Result In a Criminal Sexual Abuse Conviction ?
In People v. Ostrowski, 394 Ill. App. 3d 82, 914 N.E.2d 558, 333 Ill. Dec. 139 (2009), the defendant was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse after he was seen kissing his four-year-old granddaughter on the lips at a community festival.
A divided panel of this court reversed the conviction.
The majority noted that the act of kissing another person on the lips is not inherently sexual. Ostrowski, 394 Ill. App. 3d at 93-94.
Moreover, the majority found that consideration of the additional evidence supported a finding that the defendant's intent was not sexual. Ostrowski, 394 Ill. App. 3d at 93.
The majority distinguished People v. Calusinski, 314 Ill. App. 3d 955, 733 N.E.2d 420, 247 Ill. Dec. 956 (2000), where the defendant "French-kissed" the victim.
The court there noted that "'French kisses'" are inherently sexual. Ostrowski, 394 Ill. App. 3d at 93, citing Calusinski, 314 Ill. App. 3d at 962.