Massachusetts' governor is speaking out against of the release of a convicted serial child rapist, who has been civilly committed since his release from prison.
Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday morning that 70-year-old Wayne Chapman, who has been in state custody since 1977 for raping two boys in Lawrence, should never be released. Court documents show that Chapman had roughly 50 victims over a 10-year span. He is also the main suspect in the 1976 disappearance of 10-year-old Andy Puglisi, who disappeared while heading to a Lawrence pool.
"He should remain in jail. I don't think Mr. Chapman should be released ever. I’m surprised that this gentleman had sort of the equivalent of only a 30-year sentence," Baker said. "My view is someone with his list of convicted atrocities should never get out."
He went on to call the recommendation to release Chapman from civil commitment "enormously problematic," and was planning to file legislation to prevent those who have been civilly committed from being released without going before a jury or judge.
He said he also plans to file legislation to dramatically increase penalties for someone like Chapman.
Baker added that he was glad to see the judge execute on the state's request that the reports that were done on Chapman be made public.
"I think the idea that a report by two people, expert or not, is all it takes for somebody like him to get back into the community is a problem," the Republican governor said.
Chapman's release was granted earlier this year after two experts testified he was no longer sexually dangerous, meaning the Department of Corrections had to set him free. Chapman's attorney previously told NBC10 Boston his client will be released as soon as the state is able to line up housing.
However, another attorney representing an unknown number of his victims filed a petition last week to stop his release. A Suffolk Superior Court judge has since ordered a review of state mental health examiners' reports.