Wayne Chapman. (FBI)
SHIRLEY (WBZ-AM) -- The convicted child rapist whose previously-pending release spurred backlash across the state won't be getting out after all--he was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with indecent assault for incidents alleged to have happened in prison as recently as two days ago.
Wayne Chapman was ordered held without bail at an arraignment later this morning in Ayer District Court. A "not guilty" plea was entered on his behalf. He will return to court on June 27th.
According to a release from the Massachusetts Department of Correction, Chapman was arrested for indecent exposure, lewd, wanton and lascivious acts, and open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior. The DOC said the incidents happened Sunday and Monday at Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Shirley, the medium-security prison where he was being held.
Chapman, 70, has admitted abusing more than 100 young boys prior to his incarceration 40 years ago, and he's long been a suspect in the disappearance of a Lawrence boy back in 1976. Two state-contracted psychologists examined Chapman for more than an hour recently and found him to no longer be dangerous, with both saying his age and frailness left him unlikely to re-offend. A judge had just ordered him released earlier this week.
Attorney Wendy Murphy, who fought the release of Chapman and represents a number of his victims, spoke to WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Wednesday after hearing about his re-arrest.
"Well you can imagine, I'm personally very, very relieved and pleased," Murphy said. "We've been fighting to keep him behind bars, and whether it was from our petition to the Supreme Judicial Court or by his arrest, we'll take it any way we can get it."
Murphy said she spoke earlier Wednesday morning to a Chapman victim who went public for the first time in his life earlier this week, and she said he was very emotional and pleased to hear about Chapman's arrest.
"I told him it was because of him," Murphy said. "I said, look, if people didn't hear what you had to say, I'm not sure he would have been arrested. I'm not sure they would have taken this step ... all the credit goes to the victims and the advocates who have been speaking out and complaining and criticizing the system. They deserve an awful lot of credit."
She said reports that he exposed himself to nurses at MCI-Shirley didn't surprise her, because even the state experts' reports that recommended his release acknowledged that he had exposed himself to nurses at the facility before--as recently as a few weeks ago.
"I am not shocked that he's committing offenses behind bars," she said. "I am very shocked that he hasn't been arrested before today."
Gov. Charlie Baker weighed in Tuesday, saying he didn't think Chapman should ever be released, and that he hoped legislators would re-examine the process by which sex offenders like Chapman are released.
"This guy should never get out, and I think it's unfortunate, disgraceful in some respects that we've found ourselves in this position," Gov. Baker said. "But if we can't learn from this experience and make adjustments so that it can't happen in the future, shame on us."
LISTEN: Attorney Wendy Murphy discusses Chapman's release with WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Josh Binswanger