Aurora won't start enforcement against child sex offenders staying at church mission -- for now

Updated 7/23/2019 5:50 PM

The city of Aurora won't initiate action this week against child sex offenders living and working at the Wayside Cross Mission, according to Mark Weinberg, one of the attorneys for 19 men who are suing the city in federal court.

The men had asked Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer for a temporary restraining order requiring the city to register plaintiffs at the mission at 215 E. New York St., and prohibiting the city from arresting any who remain at the mission beyond July 26.


On June 26, Aurora police sent the men letters saying that staying at the mission violated a state law prohibiting them from living within 500 feet of a playground, and that they had 30 days to move out.

Online federal court records indicate Pallmeyer granted part of the TRO request, and denied another part, and that the two sides were to submit a written order Wednesday for her to sign.

The lawsuit argues that child sex offenders have stayed at the mission for many years, participating in programs to improve their lives. Police say they remeasured the distance from the mission to the park at 350 E. Galena Blvd. earlier this year, as part of an effort to give addresses to city parks, and discovered the previous measurement was not correct.

The suit also argues the park is not a playground. The city argues a water-spraying splash pad in the center qualifies, because it is meant for children to play in.

The city's attorneys argued that the city never said it was going to pursue enforcement of the law. Whether to pursue charges would be up to the Kane County state's attorney, it argued, because a violation would be a felony, and only the state's attorney or a grand jury can bring a felony charge.

It also argues the park's primary feature is the water-spray feature.

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