Court considers housing restrictions for child sex offenders | Local News | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

Illinois’ highest court is considering arguments over whether or not the state should be able to place lifetime restrictions on when and where a sex offender can and can not live.

The case recently heard by the Illinois Supreme Court involves Martin Kopf, an Illinois resident who went to prison after being convicted of having improper relations with a 15-year-old boy in 2003. Kopf is seeking to remain living in his house, even though there is a children’s care center within 500 feet. Kopf had been living there for a few weeks after getting the property approved by local police.

Represented himself in court, Kopf said the process has caused him a lot of trouble.

“Their mistakes have cost me a low ballpark of $35,000, my wife, possibly my kids … plus risk losing my house, causing bankruptcy, oh and I am sleeping in my truck,” Kopf told the court. “All this to protect the public from someone who has been rehabilitated.”

Representing the state, attorney Kaitlyn Chenevert said even if Kopf is no longer a danger, it is still against the law for him to live that close.

“The process which Mr. Kopf seeks, a process in which he could establish that he would not re-offend, is irrelevant to his registration requirement and to the residency restrictions,” Chenevert said. “Those are imposed by virtue of his conviction.”

Kopf argued that he is being punished even after serving his time in prison and registering as a sex offender.

Chenevert said the state is trying to protect children.

“The residency restriction here does not amount to punishment,” Chenevert said. “The clear aim of the statute is to protect children.”

The Illinois Supreme Court took the case under advisement.

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