Chapman, 70, pleaded not guilty in Middlesex Superior Court on charges of open and gross lewdness and lewd, wanton and lascivious acts at MCI Shirley on June 3 and 4. He pleaded not guilty to the same charges at his arraignment in a lower court in Ayer on June 6. The charges stem from incidents in his cell in which Chapman allegedly exposed and touched himself in front of prison nurses several times.
A clerk magistrate denied the prosecution’s request for a dangerousness hearing that would keep Chapman locked up pending a trial, saying lewd behavior is not enough to warrant the hearing. But the arraignment was continued until Wednesday morning, when prosecutors plan to again ask for a dangerousness hearing.
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.
Legal Analyst: No Guarantee New Charges Will Keep Serial Rapist Behind Bars
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. That is now on hold because of the new charges against Chapman.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)