The Latest: Governor calls for tougher child rape penalties
AYER, Mass. (AP) — The Latest on new charges filed against a convicted child rapist who was scheduled for release (all times local):
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has filed legislation to toughen penalties for child rape, citing the case of Wayne Chapman.
The 70-year-old convicted child rapist was set to be released from custody but was held without bail Wednesday after not guilty pleas to new charges of indecent exposure and lewd acts were entered on his behalf. A lawyer for his victims says Chapman exposed himself to a prison nurse.
Baker’s bill would require a court hearing over whether a sexually dangerous person should be released.
Current law requires an individual held under civil commitment be released when two qualified examiners determine the person is no longer sexually dangerous, even if other experts disagree.
The bill would also increase mandatory penalties for rape of a child with force by a person previously convicted of sexual offenses to life without parole.
A 70-year-old convicted child rapist from Massachusetts who was set to be released from custody has been held without bail after not guilty pleas to new charges were entered on his behalf.
Wayne Chapman sat in a wheelchair with his ankles shackled at his brief arraignment Wednesday. He did not speak but just nodded when a judge asked him if he understood.
The prosecution and defense agreed to keep Chapman civilly committed and held without bail until June 27 while both sides determined their next moves.
The Department of Correction said the new charges stem from acts Sunday and Monday at the prison where he’s being held. A lawyer for some of Chapman’s victims said she was told Chapman exposed himself to a nurse.
Chapman’s attorney told The Boston Globe he was unaware of the new charges.
A 70-year-old convicted child rapist from Massachusetts who was scheduled for release despite the objections of his victims will now stay behind bars for allegedly exposing himself in prison.
A state prisons spokesman says Wayne Chapman was arrested Wednesday on charges including indecent exposure and open and gross lewdness in connection with incidents Sunday and Monday.
A lawyer for his victims says Chapman exposed himself to a prison nurse.
Chapman was convicted in 1977 of sexually assaulting young boys he had lured into the woods.
Two experts ruled he could be released because he is no longer dangerous.
His victims objected, but a single justice of Massachusetts’ highest court cleared the way on Monday for the release.
Chapman’s attorney did not immediately return a telephone message.