Natalie Sorenson gets off the bus Friday afternoon at the intersection of Otto Road and Dorthea Avenue in Machesney Park. She's followed by her older brother Spencer....and then mom drives them back home. "There are three families that drive down to the corner because we don't want the children to be out of site," said Shelley Sorenson. Sorenson is concerned about a registered sex offender living two houses down from the bus stop on Dorthea Avenue. She learned just a few days ago that Vincent Maurchie was convicted of sexual exploitation of a child in 2005. "You never really think it's going to hit home," Sorenson said. Sorenson says the bus used to stop at her driveway right here and pick up her kids. But this year she says the bus driver stopped doing that. So now it's a ride in the car and then the bus...to keep her kids safe. Harlem school leaders weren't available to speak on camera with us Friday. But they say right now there are no plans to move the bus stop from that intersection. They say the only way that would happen is if the bus dropped kids off right in front of sex offender's home. Administrators are aware of Maurchie and his criminal background. But they say he hasn't caused any trouble in the neighborhood since his conviction. Authorities say the same thing. But that doesn't make Sorenson feel any better. "We can't see them standing at the end of our driveway, it's too far away," Sorenson said.
She and her neighbors are taking their concerns to the school board Monday night....hoping to get a closer ride to the bus stop for her kids.
The convicted sex offender wasn't home when we came by Friday for reaction. But we spoke with his wife off camera. She's upset that parents are going after her husband for something that happened two years ago. A detective with the Winnebago County Sheriff's office says Maurchie hasn't broken any laws since his 2005 conviction. And he says people need to realize nowadays that registered sex offenders live all over.