The fate of the convicted child molester Wayne Chapman is now in the hands of a jury. Chapman is accused of exposing himself to staff at MCI-Shirley, just as the legal path was cleared for him to be released from custody after decades behind bars.
But now a jury at Middlesex Superior Court is deliberating whether Chapman is guilty of these new charges and should go back to prison.
The jurors don't know about Wayne Chapman’s extensive criminal past. They were only told about these new charges, and that's what they are considering now. Chapman is on trial for two counts of open and gross lewdness at MCI Shirley.
Prosecutors say he exposed his privates to staffers at the prison’s Health Services Unit for hours, refusing to cover up on June 3, 2018. And on the next day, prosecutors allege Chapman pleasured himself in full view of staff.
Chapman has admitted to molesting a hundred boys in multiple states going all the way back to the 1960s. And he is the suspect in the 1976 disappearance of Lawrence's Andy Puglisi.
In closing statements both sides focused on the prison surveillance video. The defense said Chapman is an old man with Parkinson's, and that prevented him from moving and covering up. The defense attorney also said Chapman was not pleasuring himself the next day, he was scratching an itch.
"Mr. Chapman is a 70-year-old man with Parkinson's who has a fall risk," said Melissa Devore of the defense. "Who struggles to perform the most basic of tasks."
A prosecutor urged the jury to use its common sense, saying Chapman's actions were deliberate.
"And this defendant, whether it was out of boredom, or desire for attention, hostility to the people that work there, or some other reason, he had no regard for the serious negative emotional experience he inflicted," said prosecutor Emily Jackson.
Chapman has been in prison since the 1970s. That includes time held on civil commitment beyond his original sentence. If the jury finds Wayne Chapman not guilty, he would be free, no probation, no supervision from the courts.
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