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Serial child rapist, whose pending release drew outcry, arrested on new charges

BOSTON -- A 70-year-old convicted child rapist from Massachusetts who was set to be released from custody after two experts concluded he was no longer "sexually dangerous" will remain locked up. Wayne Chapman was arrested Wednesday in prison for indecent exposure and lewd acts that the Massachusetts Department of Correction said Chapman committed on Sunday and Monday.

A lawyer for some of Chapman's victims said she was told Chapman exposed himself to a nurse.

Chapman was arraigned in Ayer District Court Wednesday on charges of indecent exposure, lewd, wanton and lascivious acts and open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior, reports CBS Boston. He sat in a wheelchair for the hearing and his legs were shackled.  Chapman pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail.

Chapman initially was convicted in 1977. He lured young boys into the woods by pretending he was searching for his missing dog and then sexually assaulted them, court records say. A court found Chapman had at least 50 victims, and Chapman has said he raped up to 100 children, said Wendy Murphy, an attorney for some of the victims.

"Today's arrest provides the one point we have been trying to make all along, which is this is not an elderly man with a walker," said Murphy, who filed an emergency petition with the state's highest court Monday to keep Chapman locked up. "This is a very dangerous man who in his own words has raped up to 100 children."

Chapman's lawyer, Eric Tennen, said this week Chapman can't live independently because of health issues and was seeking a bed in a facility that can address his medical needs. Tennen didn't immediately return a phone message Wednesday from The Associated Press but told The Boston Globe he had not been made aware of Chapman's arrest and had "literally no idea what is going on."

Chapman's impending release sparked outrage from Chapman's victims and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker. Prison officials had said in court documents their hands were tied because two examiners found Chapman is no longer dangerous.

Chapman's prison sentence ended in 2004, but Massachusetts, like many other states, allows officials to civilly commit certain inmates after their terms are over if they are deemed "sexually dangerous."

Justice Scott Kafker of the Supreme Judicial Court said in a ruling released Monday that Chapman's victims were "understandably upset and frightened" about his potential release, but he said Chapman had to be freed because the proper requirements were followed under the law.

Murphy said in a statement released to CBS Boston that Chapman's victims are all "very pleased" that he will not be released.

"They were relieved and very emotional. One was sobbing," Murphy said.

Murphy said it "boggles the mind" that two examiners determined Chapman is not sexually dangerous.

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