UPDATE 2: A suit has now been filed; this report comes from Illinois Voices.
By Will M . . . Although a lawsuit has not yet been filed in this case, attorneys have agreed to represent 19 individuals who have been told by the city of Aurora that they have to move out of their residence at Wayside Cross Ministries within 30 days or face prison time for violating the sex offender registration act. The city said they had been incorrectly measuring distance, and now that they have corrected their methods, Wayside falls within 500 feet of both a playground and a daycare. Wayside is contending that the distance from the building that is the residence hall is more than 500 feet away from both, but the city is measuring from the line of the property that also includes a chapel and a resale store located in a separate building on the same parcel. The buildings have different addresses but are all owned by Wayside Cross.
The attorneys sent a letter to the Aurora police department (who issued the eviction letters) asking them to rescind the order. An attorney for the city responded, saying that the letter was not an eviction letter but simply notice that the men were in violation of the law by residing too close to a playground and daycare. The city maintains that it is not the city that will enforce the law, but rather the state’s attorney.
Wayside Cross Ministries has retained an attorney to represent its interests, while Ms. Nicholas and Mr. Weinberg are representing the interests of the 19 individuals who have been told to move. The attorneys are in conversation with each other to figure out the best way for them to work together on this issue.
Will is editor-in-chief of LifeTimes magazine and the ED of Illinois Voices for Reform. Directly impacted by registration laws, he has made a life-long commitment to fighting these draconian laws and also helping others navigate the difficult terrain of being listed on a public registry. He holds several degrees including a PhD in sociology, and his research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals. Will is the father of an amazing adult daughter, and he remains active in various community social activities.