Sex Offender Next Door

Sex Offender
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At least three tenants of the Foxwood Hills apartment complex in Belvidere say they are being kicked out for starting an apartment watch group.

The group formed after tenants learned a sex offender lives at the complex without getting notification by apartment managers.

Apartment managers and owners have no legal obligation to alert tenants of sex offenders living in apartments. But one tenant of Foxwood Hills says he's pushing for the law to change, “He's been living here for eight months, before I even found out,” says tenant Sergio Guaderrama.

Guaderrama says over that eight month period, Lester Barker visited his home, had meals, and played with his two kids.

All the time Barker was listed on the Illinois State Police Web site as a child sex offender.

The law states they have to be 1,000 feet away from a school, but they can be within an inch of an apartment.

That's why Guaderrama is appealing to Belvidere Mayor Fred Brereton to put an ordinance in effect, requiring apartment managers to report sex offenders living within complexes.

But if sex offenders are discouraged from moving into apartments, the question becomes, where do sex offenders go after the serve time for their crimes?

We talked with Barker and his wife Rose, "I haven't done nothing to keep getting persecuted. I’m trying to live as a normal, hard working citizen, but I’m being treated like I am an alien,” comments Barker.

23 News has learned since tenants at Foxwood Hills started the sex offender watch group, they have also refused to pay rent.

At least three tenants, including Guaderrama, now have five days to move out, or be evicted.

Managers of the Foxwood Hills apartments in Belvidere did not return our phone calls Wednesday.

However we can tell you, Guaderrama is only one month behind on rent, and the lease he signed has no language regarding delinquent payments, other than late fees.