AURORA, Ill. — The City of Aurora has given Wayside Cross Ministries 30 days to evict 19 sex offenders they said are being housed too close to children.
Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin said the eviction is in no way a reflection on the good work the ministry is trying to do. He said it's about the law.
Illinois state law says convicted sex offenders cannot live within 500 feet of a school or playground. Updated mapping shows a park and a daycare within that radius of Wayside at 215 E. New York St.
“Let’s recognize that these individuals that we’re speaking of are convicted child molesters, oftentimes their own children,” Irvin said. “So the state law was put in place to protect the interests of the children.”
The ministry, which has been in the area for over 90 years, came under fire after they decided to house a member of the infamous "Ripper Crew."
Thomas Kokoraleis, a 59-year-old registered sex offender, served half of a 70-year sentence for killing Lorraine "Lorry" Borowski in 1982. Kokoraleis and Borowski were both 21 at the time, according to state records.
The four-man Ripper Crew, which included Kokoraleis' brother, was suspected in the disappearances and murders of at least 17 women and one man in Illinois in 1981 and 1982. The Ripper Crew was reportedly a satanic cult, performing rituals in connection with rapes and killings.
Kokoraleis has been at Wayside since his release from prison on March 29, and is not impacted by the eviction.
A spokesman for the ministry said they are stunned. The spokesman said there is fear that evicting those 19 residents could endanger them and others.
The eviction notice became effective last week.