Mental Health Evaluations Say Serial Rapist ‘No Longer Sexually Dangerous'

Mental health experts who evaluated convicted serial rapist Wayne Chapman said he still has urges to sexually assault children, but is no longer physically capable of doing so.

Fifty-four pages of Chapman's mental health evaluations were released Friday following a judge's order earlier this week that the reports be reviewed before he is released after 41 years in custody.

The two experts testified that Chapman was no longer sexually dangerous, meaning the Department of Corrections has to set him free.

One of the experts, forensic psychologist Katrin Rouse Weir, wrote that while Chapman "continues to report a vulnerability to experiencing sexualized interest in prepubescent male children," he is unlikely to do so again because of his physical limitations.

"He lacks the physical ability to independently transport himself to circumstances where he could isolate male children and physically overcome their resistance to sexually assault them," she said. "He also lacks the energy and capacity to engage in a complex set of physical actions in order to sexually assault 10 to 12 year old boys. This does not mean that there is no risk to potential for sexual re-offense, however, in my opinion it is unlikely."

The other expert, forensic psychologist Gregg A. Belle, also said Chapman's age and deteriorating physical condition - he suffers from Parkinson's disease - make him unlikely to re-offend.

Belle said he agrees with concerns raised by others that Chapman "absolutely cannot be in an environment with access to children and that he is likely exaggerating the extent of some of his physical and cognitive limitations."

Still, he said, "the combination of Mr. Chapman's age and his deteriorating physical condition resulting in him no longer being able to manage independently has reached a threshold in which I can no longer opine that Mr. Chapman is likely to reoffend sexually if not confined to a secure facility. Therefore, it is my opinion that he is no longer a sexually dangerous person."

Chapman, 70, was sent to prison in 1977 for raping two boys in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He has spent years trying to be released, but until now he was always found to be too dangerous.

Attorney Wendy Murphy, who is representing some of Chapman's victims, filed a petition last week seeking to stop his release.

Gov. Charlie Baker has called the recommendation to release Chapman "enormously problematic," and said he plans to file legislation to prevent those who have been civilly committed from being released without going before a jury or judge. 

Court documents show that Chapman had roughly 50 victims over a 10-year span, and he is believed to have molested many of them in wooded areas by luring them there to help him find a phony dog.

Chapman also remains the main suspect in the 1976 disappearance of Andy Puglisi, a 10-year-old boy who was never seen seen again after heading to a Lawrence pool.

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