CHICAGO (CBS) — We told you last month about concerns regarding more than 20 registered sex offenders living in one building in Englewood.
It turns out there are a lot more than 20. Police said 54 registered sex offenders live in the building.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Frost Advisory Away From The City
CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov found it raises some serious legal questions.
There are 12 units in the Englewood building. But put the ZIP code in which it stands into the Illinois Department of Corrections database for registered sex offenders, and 60 of them currently list that one address as their home.
Englewood activist Andrea Drane said it is unacceptable.
“We feel as if the Illinois Department of Corrections and the City of Chicago utilize our community as a dumping ground,” Drane said.
There are about 40 more sex offenders living in the building than originally thought when CBS 2’s Jermont Terry first investigated. They include men like Cayce Williams – who assaulted and murdered a toddler in the 1990s, and who isn’t from Chicago.
Former resident Jasmine Tinsley said the landlord didn’t even tell her about the former offenders until she moved in – while pregnant with her 6-year-old.
“Why are there so many sex offenders and pedophiles registered to this address?” Tinsley said.
Civil rights attorney Adele Nicholas said these men have very few living options.READ MORE: Arwady: Chicago To Deploy Vaccine Ambassadors, Parents Should The Vaccine To Kids 12 And Over
“Right now, there’s a crisis that’s been created by Illinois law, which puts almost all of the housing in the entire state off limits,” Nicholas said.
But is it legal for so many former offenders to live in one building? Illinois statute states people convicted of a sex offense who are on parole and probation should “refrain from residing at the same address or in the same condominium unit… with another person… he or she knows… is a convicted sex offender.”
The only exception is if it is transitional housing, which this building is not.
“This is not a halfway house,” Nicholas said. “These are people who pay rent and have a lease agreement with the landlord.”
That all raises one legal red flag. But there is another perspective.
“You have to check in. You have to check out,” a former offender said. “You have to take mandatory sex offender classes.”
The registered offender said he also has to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet. We agreed not to show his face, but we listened.
“People in here cry every night. They’re sorry for the things that they did. They served time. I’m 31 years old. I’ve got to constantly explain the actions of an 18-year-old kid,” he said. “If you believe that people can change, give them a chance, man!”MORE NEWS: Where To Get Pfizer COVID-19 Shot For Children 12-15: Doctors Say Vaccinating Children Key To Helping End Pandemic
Kozlov spoke to the landlord, Amer Mostafa, who said the men have a right to live and rent in the building or wherever they are able. He also said no nonprofit is running an operation out of the building – but that doesn’t alleviate the concerns held by many living in the neighborhood.