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MA: Tougher child rape penalties pushed

[ – 12/3/19]

BOSTON — Convicted child rapists who commit new crimes could be sentenced to life without parole under a proposal by Gov. Charlie Baker to toughen sex offender laws.

Baker’s proposal, which went before the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, would increase the penalty for rape of a child with force by someone who has already been convicted of sexual offenses to life without parole. It establishes new charges for the rape of multiple children with force, which would carry a mandatory life sentence.

It also would require a hearing by a new, five-member “sexual dangerousness review board” of psychologists to resolve disputes over the release of a sex offender held under the state’s civil commitment law. The opinions of two “qualified experts” are currently all that’s required to certify a sex offender as non-dangerous and eligible for release from custody.

“Serial child predators should be incarcerated with no possibility of release,” Andrew Peck, Baker’s undersecretary for criminal justice at the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, told the committee on Tuesday. “This legislation will ensure that an offender who has raped two of more children … will not be released back into the community.”

Baker’s proposal is backed by many police chiefs and other law enforcement officials who argued that serial child rapists like Wayne Chapman are likely to reoffend.

“They do not just commit their crime once and stop,” Marblehead police Chief Robert Picariello told the panel. “They’re serial offenders who perpetrate their crime again and again.”

But Michael Ryan, an attorney with the Committee for Public Counsel Services who has represented defendants accused of sex crimes, told the panel that convicted sex offenders have one of the lowest rates of recidivism.

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  1. The Vampire

    Number 1 question how many child rapist are in this state? And Number 2 question is why is the state adding a new law? Number 3 question is did a child rapist get out of jail/ prison and hurt a child or is this a feel good law/ for votes? If you going too add laws it should be on a regular problem that happens all the time. Not once in a blue moon problem. Law maker don’t think of what could happen to their own family until it does. Than the cover up happened on the tax payers back! Now that should be a law! Can never use tax payer money to cover up your family crimes!!!!!

    • ab

      Decent questions, but everyone should be asking:

      When will the United States as a whole start addressing the underlying factors which lead to such crimes? If everyone actually cared it would seem the most important goal would be significantly reducing the worst of the worst offenses. Yet those willing and/or capable are overshadowed by the frantic knee jerk reaction majority who still believe tougher penalties will deter people.

  2. USA

    Well, watching child porn/molesting a child etc is one thing. Yet, child rape is another! If you rape a child one/go to jail and do it again, you have serious issues!

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