A 70-year-old convicted child rapist from Massachusetts who was set to be released before his arrest last month could go free while he fights new charges.
Wayne W. Chapman is being held on $25,000 cash bail after pleading not guilty to charges of open and gross lewdness and lewd, wanton and lascivious acts.
Freedom is unlikely, though, according to Chapman's attorney Melissa Devore. She says she doesn't know of anyone who would even post bail.
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"It’s a high cash bail," Devore said. "But no matter what cash bail was going to be set today, any cash bail was going to have him basically held without bail.”
Chapman was indicted by a grand jury last month after prosecutors said he exposed himself and masturbated in the view of prison staff at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Shirley.
He was convicted in 1977 of sexually assaulting young boys he lured into the woods. His prison term ended in 2004, but he has been civilly committed since then.
The prosecution argued Wednesday the 70-year-old inmate should be subject to a dangerousness hearing, but the judge denied that request.
The new charges against Chapman came just as he was set to be released from prison after two state experts ruled he is no longer sexually dangerous.
His attorney says that is the determining factor to his freedom.
Chapman's impending release had sparked outrage from Chapman's victims and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.
Officials have said Chapman is suspected of sexually assaulting as many as 50 children. He is also a suspect in the 1976 disappearance of Andy Puglisi, a 10-year-old boy from Lawrence who was never seen again after heading to a pool.
His attorneys have denied the new allegations.