Before being sentenced to 18 years in prison, a severely mentally-ill man – with a 1993 conviction for sexually assaulting a child – said Friday that “Satan” and “the spirits” were telling him what to do when he walked to a Woodstock park and grabbed a 4-year-old boy off his bike last summer.
Kevin Sorensen, 40, of Woodstock pleaded guilty but mentally ill in April to aggravated kidnapping and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He is required to serve 85 percent of his sentence and will receive credit for time served since his arrest Aug. 11.
However, before his release Sorensen will be evaluated determine whether he is sexually violent which could result in him being housed at a state facility indefinitely. If released he would be on three years of mandatory supervised release. He also is required to register as a sex offender for life.
In court Friday, Jonathon Hunt, one of at least four bystanders who ran to the boy’s rescue, said at about 12:45 p.m. Aug. 11 he and his boss were driving by Olson Park when they “heard a bunch of kids screaming ‘drop him.’” They saw Sorensen walking away with the little boy and trying to pull down his pants. As they made their move to rescue the boy Sorensen released him. Three men grabbed him and “held him down until police arrived,” Hunt said.
Assistant State’s Attorney John Gibbons read a police report written by Woodstock Police Sgt. Rob Branum who interviewed Sorensen. Branum wrote that Sorensen said he did not go to the park that day with intentions to take the boy, but was hearing voices that told him to. When he grabbed the boy Sorensen told Branum he told the child: “You are mine now I am going to make you happy.” Sorensen continued saying he “was going to take him home and keep him as my child.” Sorensen said he was going to buy him toys and play games with him and if the child wanted he would have sex with him. Sorensen claimed he had been sexually assaulted by relatives when he was 8 years old and it made him happy.
Sorensen attempted to address the court in his own words at times stumbling and losing his train of thought. He said the day of the incident he had taken several pills to drown out the voices that were “taunting” him. He said the voices told him to “take a stroll to the park” and he did “not knowing what was going to happen.”
Throughout the years, he has tried several hospitals and medications to treat his mental illness and his “spiritual problems” even going to a priest who would not help him, he said.
His attorney, Assistant Public Defender Angelo Mourelatos said he has been diagnosed with severe mental illness and schizophrenia and had been hospitalized several times since 2006. He has attempted suicide and has been on various medications and has had bouts with substance abuse. He also said he had suffered a traumatic event when he was a child, both of his parents have died and he has had no family support.
Gibbons read a statement from the victim’s mother who said she and her child, who rode his bike to the park that day with his two older siblings, have been traumatized. The mother wrote that her 4-year-old had a “tragic day” and her older children still feel guilty over what happened. After being reunited with her young son she said she held him as he cried and said “he was taken by some guy who was not his friend.” She was proud of her children who called out for help and grateful to those who stepped in to help.
However, she was later “flabbergasted” to learn of Sorensen’s past conviction and that he was not on the sex offender list.
Sorensen had been a registered sex offender for 10 years for a sexual assault committed in Ryder Woods in Woodstock in the 1990s, according to Woodstock police Chief John Lieb. He violated his registry in 2003. At the time he tried to kidnap the boy last summer, Sorensen was no longer on the registry.