By Sandy . . . Over forty years ago, Wayne Chapman was convicted of raping two boys. He claimed to have had as many as a hundred victims.
He was sentenced to thirty years in prison, and when that was completed, under Massachusetts’s civil commitment laws, was confined further in a non-criminal facility where he was to be treated and evaluated and from where he would be released when he was determined no longer to be a danger to society.
That determination has been made.
Chapman, now 70, suffers from multiple health issues. He is in a wheelchair. He is unable to care for himself at the most basic level, including not being able to dress himself.
Approximately three months ago, when it was clear that Massachusetts law dictated his release, authorities levied new sexual crimes against him. He had, they said, exposed himself to a nurse in the hospital unit. Prior to this, in all of the forty plus years that Mr. Chapman has been incarcerated and civilly committed, there is nothing to suggest that he had engaged in this type of behavior.
His imminent release is, of course, on hold until these new charges, to which he has pled not guilty, work their way through the system.
In the meantime, forces from the governor down are aligning themselves to stop his release no matter what. Wendy Murphy, an attorney for one of the victims, has tried vigorously to block it, sharing emotional victim reactions with the press and calling into question the laws that allow release if two independent, state-sanctioned psychologists or psychiatrists find him no longer dangerous.