Wayne Chapman. (FBI)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- A ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is being seen as a victory by those trying to keep convicted serial child rapist Wayne Chapman behind bars.
The SJC has ruled that Chapman's attorney Eric Tennen has to check in with them before trying to get Chapman released from civil commitment. While they haven't said they would block the 70-year-old's release, attorney Wendy Murphy, who represents several of Chapman's victims, says the ruling seems to indicate that.
"I think that the Supreme Judicial Court will take action to stop Chapman's release if Chapman's lawyer tries to get him released on the civil commitment side," Murphy said. "I take from that that the SJC will take steps to stop him from being released if Tennan tries that."
Murphy is also pleased that the SJC has requested Attorney General Maura Healey file an amicus brief in their appeal to keep Chapman locked up. She told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker she's wanted Healey to be involved in the case from day one.
"She's the chief law enforcement officer for Massachusetts," Murphy said. "She should be taking the lead on this case, it's her Department of Corrections ... I hope and expect she's supportive of our position, I can't imagine that she wouldn't be. But at this point, all we know is that the SJC expects her to become involved, and that's very good news."
Chapman 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. He had been expected to be released from custody after two experts concluded he was no longer "sexually dangerous," but that release was put on hold when he was accused last week of indecent exposure and lewd acts.
Attorney Tennen has criticized new charges against Chapman, calling the timing "extremely convenient."
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker reports