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FamilyAnswer
FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  9 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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If you find out that an adult family member is having

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If you find out that an adult family member is having sexual conversations, and exchanging naked photos, with a minor, can you get in trouble just for knowing?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good afternoon. How did this person find out? Were they told by a third party or did they see this on their own? Also, have they addressed the issue with the adult? Do they know the minor?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I saw the text messages on this family member's cell phone and records. There were actual pictures of the family member's body parts, but only references to photos of the minor, which were apparently being sent through a different electronic means than what I saw. (There were references to explicit photos of the family member being sent by this other means as well.) The family member does know the minor, and used to be the minor's teacher. There are references to wanting to have sexual encounters in person. The family member does not know what I have found, and I have not addressed the issue with the family member yet--the family member has a history of self-harm, and I am concerned it could happen again if this became public. However, I do not want to put myself at legal risk either. Thank you for your help.

Thank you for the additional information. The actions of this person are very serious and could lead to numerous felony charges if caught. In Illinois, there is a legal duty to report this, under certain circumstances/situations, which I have laid out below for your review. Moreover, even if this person was caught, it is going to be hard for anyone to prove you actually knew about this. Unless the family member shared this with you and spoke with you about it, there would be no reason that they would involve you or the police to think you were involved either. If you have concerns about the person and there is a history of self harm, you may want to speak with them about this privately and tell them to stop the contact at once or else you will be forced to report them. You need to look out for your best interest and if you think you could be implicated in some way, need to act accordingly.

Illinois
Failure to Report
Comp. Stat. Ch. 325, §§ 5/4.02; 5/4
Any physician who willfully fails to report suspected child abuse or neglect shall be referred to the Illinois State Medical
Disciplinary Board for action in accordance with the Medical Practice Act of 1987. Any dentist or dental hygienist who
willfully fails to report suspected child abuse or neglect shall be referred to the Department of Professional Regulation for
action in accordance with the Illinois Dental Practice Act.
Any mandatory reporter who willfully fails to report suspected child abuse or neglect shall be guilty of a Class A
misdemeanor for a first violation and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent violation.
Any person who knowingly and willfully violates any provision of this Section is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for a first
violation and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent violation.
If the person acted as part of a plan or scheme having as its object the prevention of discovery of an abused or
neglected child by lawful authorities for the purpose of protecting or insulating any person or entity from arrest or
prosecution, the person is guilty of a Class 4 felony for a first offense and a Class 3 felony for a second or subsequent
offense (regardless of whether the second or subsequent offense involves any of the same facts or persons as the first or
other prior offense).
FamilyAnswer and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!