AYER (CBS/AP) – Serial child rapist Wayne Chapman’s expected release from prison is on hold after he was arrested for an incident at MCI-Shirley.

Chapman, 70, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Ayer District Court Wednesday on charges of indecent exposure, lewd, wanton and lascivious acts and open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior. He sat in a wheelchair for the hearing and his legs were shackled.  Judge Margaret Guzman ordered Chapman held without bail.

Wayne Chapman in Ayer District Court, June 6, 2018. (WBZ-TV)

According to a spokesperson for the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the charges stem from incidents in his cell June 3 and June 4 in which Chapman allegedly exposed and touched himself in front of prison nurses several times.

Legal Analyst: No Guarantee New Charges Will Keep Serial Rapist Behind Bars

Attorney Wendy Murphy has been fighting to keep Chapman in prison. She spoke with some of his victims Wednesday and released a statement saying they’re all “very pleased” that he will not be released.

“They were relieved and very emotional. One was sobbing,” Murphy said. “I am not surprised by this development. Chapman has committed other sex offenses while behind bars, including one as recently as this March involving the same conduct for which he was charged today — indecent exposure and lewd conduct.”

“It boggles the mind that not one but two qualified examiners could find this man not sexually dangerous. The absurdity of their decisions is why we have been fighting so hard to prevent his release,” she said. “This is not a frail man with a walker. This is a dangerous man with no conscience – who used knives, rope, and duct tape on his child victims, and boasted about feeling pleasure in their pain.”

Victim of Wayne Chapman and attorney Wendy Murphy (WBZ-TV)

Chapman had been on the verge of being released from MCI-Shirley, where he’s been held since 1977. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison for raping two boys from Lawrence. When Chapman finished his sentence in 2007, prosecutors fought for a civil commitment to keep him locked up as “a sexually dangerous person.” Court filings show he has admitted to molesting as many as 100 boys.

But this year, when he petitioned for a review, two psychologists the state considers experts said he’s no longer a danger because of his age and physical condition. Under current law, the Department of Corrections must release him.

Last month, Murphy filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Judicial Court in an attempt to keep Chapman locked up. But Justice Scott Kafker said the proper requirements for Chapman’s release were followed under the law. Murphy is now trying to convince the full court to review the matter.

Wayne Chapman. (Photo credit: Mass Sex Offender Registry)

“Although Chapman will not be released, we will continue to press our appeal in the hope that the Supreme Judicial Court will take this opportunity to clarify it’s Johnstone decision from 2009, which gives qualified examiners far too much power to decide the fate of men like Wayne Chapman,” Murphy said in her statement. “Chapman is only one offender. If the SJC doesn’t act quickly, similarly dangerous sex offenders will be released under similarly disturbing conditions.”

Shortly after Chapman’s arraignment, Governor Charlie Baker filed legislation Wednesday to increase penalties for child predators.

“The bill will require a full hearing by the court to resolve disputes over whether a sexually dangerous person should be released from custody. Current law requires that an individual held under a civil commitment be released when two qualified examiners determine the person is no longer sexually dangerous, without further review by the court, even if other equally qualified experts disagree,” Baker said in a statement.

“The administration’s legislation also increases the mandatory minimum penalty for rape of a child with force by a person previously convicted of sexual offenses to life without parole, and establishes a new child predator offense for rapes of multiple children with force with a mandatory penalty of life without parole.”

Chapman is due back in court June 27.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (18)
  1. so he’s no longer a threat?????? But but now re offends IN prison???? That means those EXPERTS aren’t very good at what they do!!!!

  2. Lily Yu says:

    What is wrong with the justice system and these psychologists?! A serial child rapist will never be safe; Idc if his a$$ is 70. Do his genitals work? Then he will want to offend again.

  3. Thank you for posting this… My brother wasn’t stopped as a teenager and kept hurting children for decades. Being caught didn’t stop him. He was sick with what I, as a PICU RN for >40yrs, strongly believe is an incurable disease. He didn’t stop until he committed suicide, not because he did something awful to a young child, but because he was caught and arrested.

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