SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court is weighing whether it is constitutional to impose lifetime restrictions on where a person can live after they’ve been convicted of a sex crime involving a minor.
“It’s been 21 years – almost 21 years since my conviction,” Martin Kopf told the court’s seven justices on Wednesday. “I have been totally offense-free. Not even a moving violation. But yet, they still say that I’m dangerous.”
Kopf, now 54, pleaded guilty in 2003 to aggravated criminal sexual abuse for an incident involving a 15-year-old boy. According to a published report of the incident, Kopf, who was a high school basketball coach at the time, was accused of sexually assaulting a member of his team during a sleepover at which he allegedly served the boy alcohol.
According to court records included in briefs filed with the Supreme Court, Kopf served three years of probation and reportedly has had no other criminal convictions since then. Still, because he was convicted of a sex crime involving a minor, Kopf remains subject to an Illinois statute that requires him to register for the rest of his life as a sex offender and prohibits him from ever living in certain areas.
Those residency restrictions cover any place within 500 feet of a “playground, childcare institution, day care center, part day childcare facility, day care home, group day care home, or a facility providing programs or services exclusively directed toward persons under 18 years of age.”