High bail for convicted child rapist accused of exposing himself to prison staff

WOBURN, MASS. (WHDH) - A 70-year-old convicted child rapist who was set to be released before his arrest in June has been ordered held on $25,000 bail in connection with a slew of new charges.

Wayne Chapman appeared Wednesday in Middlesex Superior Court after pleading not guilty earlier this week to charges of open and gross lewdness and lewd, wanton and lascivious acts.

Prosecutors say Chapman exposed himself and masturbated in the view of prison staff at MCI-Shirley.

“He’s alleged to have exposed himself and masturbated in front of medical staff at the institution,” Prosecutor Emily Jackson told the court. “Of gravest concern to the Commonwealth, is the fact that this defendant, even in the confines of a structured and locked facility while committed as a sexually dangerous person, continues to engage is sexually-based criminal activity.”

Chapman’s arrest came as officials were preparing for his release after two experts ruled he is no longer sexually dangerous.

Chapman was convicted in 1977 of sexually assaulting young boys he lured into the woods in Lawrence. His prison term ended in 2004, but he has been civilly committed since then.

The Lawrence Police Department has labeled Chapman a person of interest in the 1976 disappearance of Andy Puglisi. He has not been charged in that case.

Chapman’s lawyer, Melissa Devore, argued that $25,000 bail was excessive.

Chapman’s impending release sparked outrage from his victims and Gov. Charlie Baker.

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