Tough on Sex Offender Legislation Not Refiled
Gov. Charlie Baker’s promised get-tough bill on sex offenders failed last year and has not yet been refiled this session, despite the potential release of serial child rapist Wayne Chapman.
“Clearly this needs to be fixed,” MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons told the Herald. “When you have a person who’s admitted to over a hundred sexual crimes allowed back on the street without a hearing, I mean that simply doesn’t make any sense.”
State Sen. Diana DiZoglio said the Legislature “must do all we can to strengthen our laws to prevent violent, dangerous predators, who commit horrific crimes against children, from being released moving forward.” The Methuen Democrat said the law must be “revisited and reformed.”
The state’s Supreme Judicial Court ruled Thursday that Chapman can be released based on two state-hired psychologists who determined he was no longer likely to re-offend, but the aging predator is still being held on a lewdness charge.
“Governor Baker previously filed legislation to keep serial child predators behind bars, and remains committed to working with the Legislature to strengthen Massachusetts law and keep dangerous criminals out of our communities,” a Baker spokesman said.
When pressed, Baker’s office said they plan to refile the bill, which was sent to study and died in committee last session.