Cheating on your spouse can bring you more than embarrassment and shame in Illinois; you could end up in jail.

While some might jokingly refer to marriage as a prison sentence; it's actually no laughing matter. Especially when you could actually end up behind bars; if you commit adultery in the state of Illinois.  While the law might not be enforced much, it's still a possibility and with the new information coming out about approximately how many Rockfordians had an Ashley Madison account, this information might be good to have.

As of 2013, Illinois is one of 18 states that has a law banning adultery.  The crime is punishable by up to a year in prison and the statute was actually used back in 1997 to charge a Harvey woman and her lover.

So, how and why did this even become a law in the first place? The first statute from 1827 stated the following:

Sec. 120. Any man and woman, who shall live together in an open state of adultery or fornication, or adultery and fornication, (which shall be sufficiently established by circumstances, which raise the presumption of cohabitation and unlawful intimacy;) every such man and woman shall be indicted severally, and on conviction shall be severally fined, not exceeding two hundred dollars, or imprisoned not exceeding six months; and for a second offence, they shall severally be punished twice as much as the former punishment; and for the third offence triple, and thus increasing the punishment for each succeeding offence…

Another question you might have is why is this still even in the Illinois law books? Aside from the fact that the state has other things to worry about, like finally coming up with a budget, the state would need a state representative to come forward and repeal the bill and actually get people to vote on it.  It's simply not a priority.

For those 11,226 of you in Rockford who signed up for an Ashley Madison account, don't sweat it, though; there aren't many prosecuting attorneys who'd like to be known as the fornication police in the Stateline area.

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