Thanks, Mom! Sex offender faces felony charges after tenacious woman digs through state records to find him

A known sex offender faces fresh felony charges after a woman dug through a state database to find him, prosecutors said Thursday.

The story starts around 6:40 p.m. on July 3 when a Lakeview woman returned to her apartment on the 400 block of West Oakdale. As she walked up the stairs, a man began following her and tried to make small talk, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

The woman ignored him and went into her apartment.

Stephen Durr and the approximate location of the incident. | CPD; Google

About 10 minutes later, she heard someone outside her door. When she opened it, she saw the man who was following her sitting on the floor with his underwear and pants down. He was…well, you know what he was doing.

The man ran away when the woman screamed. She called 911. The cops came, but they didn’t find the guy. In just about any other situation, that would have been the end of that.

Not this time.

When the mother of the victim’s roommate heard about what happened, the mom went online and started looking through the Illinois sex offender registry. She just happened to find a sex offender who lives in the same building as her daughter and the victim, Murphy said.

The victim relayed the information to police who matched the man’s old mugshots to surveillance video from the apartment building that showed the man following her up the stairs on July 3, according to Murphy.

Prosecutors arrested 49-year-old Stephen Durr on Wednesday. He’s charged with felony public indecency. Murphy said Durr told police that he knows what he did is wrong and that it won’t happen again.

Ironically enough, Durr has been to prison repeatedly for failing to keep his home address current in Florida and Illinois sex offender databases. He’s probably kicking himself for finally coming into compliance.

According to Murphy, Durr has been sent to prison four times, for a total of 13 years, simply because he didn’t keep his state sex offender registrations current. His other convictions include public indecency, burglary, and theft, Murphy said.

Durr’s public defender, Genevieve O’Toole, said he has lived at the Oakdale residence for two years and is “currently self-employed in human resources and research work.”

Judge Susana Ortiz set bail at $15,000. Durr must go onto electronic monitoring if he can post a 10% deposit, she said.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is