A victims’ advocate and former prosecutor said she believes the apparent secrecy over the decision to release a convicted pedophile should be appealed, and she is prepared to do it.
“It's mind-boggling. I don't know how this happened because there are still too many secrets in this case,” Victims advocate and former prosecutor Wendy Murphy.
Admitted and convicted lifelong pedophile Wayne Chapman is about to be released to the streets, after decades behind bars, without any supervision.
Boston 25 News spent the day trying to find a record of the decision but was given no clear answers and no copy of the reports.
Chapman has admitted molesting up to a hundred boys, and he is the longtime suspect in the 1976 disappearance of Andy Puglisi from Lawrence.
“If ever there was a poster child for never release this guy, it's him,” said Murphy.
"To say the least, I was appalled and disgusted," said Billie Scharn.
Scharn is the aunt of Puglisi and never anticipated Chapman would actually be set free.
"He should be dead. That's when he should be coming out of jail," said Scharn.
Chapman served 30 years in prison for raping two Lawrence boys in the 1970s. Since 2007, judges and a jury in open courts, most recently 2016, deemed Chapman still sexually dangerous and he's remained in custody.
Puglisi's family was notified this week by the Department of Correction that Chapman will be released at any time, without a hearing, because two qualified experts recently reported to a DOC Citizens Advisory Board that they think he is no longer sexually dangerous.
"I'm scared for the children out there," said Scharn.
In the past, there have been hearings with testimony from the experts, with juries ruling Chapman was too dangerous. During a 2016 hearing, a forensic psychologist testified that Chapman believed that little boys wanted to have sex with him. This time, there was no hearing.
Murphy believes the apparent secrecy over the decision to release Chapman should be appealed, and she is prepared to do it.
“Somebody needs to go to an appellate court and say you need to review this, and you need to review this fast get a stay on this order that's he's going to be release put the brakes on that let's take a look at how this fell through the cracks,” she said.
Boston 25 News talked to several government officials Tuesday and said there is no appeal process because the SJC ruled a few years ago that once two independent experts find someone like Chapman no longer sexually dangerous, he gets released without a hearing.
One of the psychologists, Katrin Rouse Weir, was one of two licensed professionals who found Catholic priest Paul Shanley, a convicted child rapist, no longer sexually dangerous, leading to his release from jail.
Murphy’s appeal would simply delay the release, ensure there was no conflict of interest with the experts, and that the process followed procedure. It’s unclear if it could work.
There’s no word on where he will live once he’s released.
Cox Media Group