LAWRENCE, MASS. (WHDH) - A serial child rapist who was expected to be set free as early as Wednesday after being behind bars for decades will remain in prison for the time being because he does not have a place to live, according to his attorney.
Eric Tennen said Wayne Chapman is eligible to be set free but a judge will only sign off on his release if he has a place to go. It’s not clear when living arrangments will be secured.
Chapman was convicted of raping two boys in Lawrence in 1975 and reportedly admitted to raping between 50 and 100 other boys. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 1976. After serving the 30 years, he was committed civilly as a sexual predator.
According to the State Department of Corrections, two qualified examiners determined Chapman is not sexually dangerous. He will remain at MCI Shirley for the time being.
“I was appalled and disgusted with the system, that we couldn’t seem to hold him in jail with all his past history,” said Billie Scharn. She is aunt to 10-year-old Andy Puglisi, who went missing from a Lawrence swimming pool in 1976. Police consider Chapman a strong person of interest in Andy’s disappearance.
“He was dangerous before and then all of a sudden he’s not? Where did they come up with this? Are they willing to put one of their children in a room with him? Probably not,” said Scharn.
Lawrence Police Vasque said he has gotten many calls from residents concerned about Chapman’s pending release.
“There’s some members of this department directly that were friends with Andy Puglisi, so it really strikes home here,” said Vasque.
Puglisi’s family said they plan to contact Gov. Charlie Baker (R-Mass.) and other lawmakers in an effort to keep Chapman behind bars.
Chapman will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release.
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