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MA: Baker to refile bill on sexual predators

[ – 5/20/19]

Gov. Charlie Baker will ask lawmakers once again to limit the release of sexual predators from prison.

The move follows last week’s ruling by the state’s highest court clearing the way for the eventual release of Wayne Chapman.

Convicted of raping two Lawrence boys in 1975, Chapman is also a suspect in the 1976 disappearance of Angelo Puglisi Jr., 10, of Lawrence. He has admitted to raping as many as 100 boys in eight states and Canada.

Chapman, 71, has been in prison for more than 40 years, most recently under the state’s civil commitment law, but the state Supreme Judicial Court ruled last week that he should be released immediately because two psychologists found he is no longer a threat to public safety.

In its decision, the court rejected arguments from the Baker administration and a lawyer representing several of Chapman’s victims that the system of evaluating sexual predators who are locked up indefinitely under the state’s civil commitment law is itself a threat to public safety.

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The man’s hearing was about whether or not he was likely to commit another offense after release, which 2 STATE APPOINTED psychiatrists found was unlikely. Notice those opposed to his release can only refer to his original crimes of conviction 40+ years ago. To press full charges for masturbation in prison – which is ALWAYS dealt with through the prison’s discipline system – should open the DA down there up to a malicious prosecution claim. I’ll bet my left arm that this is the first time that charge was fully prosecuted in that office (if not nationwide) and in all… Read more »

So, “More than 100 sex offenders have since been released under the Johnstone ruling, according to a review of state data. In most if not all cases, the Department of Correction and a five-member Community Access Board that reviews cases of sex offenders who are civilly committed disagreed with the conclusions of one or more examiners, according to state reports. But because of the Supreme Judicial Court ruling, the state has been powerless to stop their release. In Chapman’s case, he is still being held in MCI-Shirley, awaiting trial on new charges that he masturbated in front of prison staff.… Read more »

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