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Baker To File Bill To 'Significantly Expand' Penalties For Serial Child Rapists

Gov. Charlie Baker plans to file legislation this week to "significantly expand" penalties for serial child rapists and change the review process for releasing such offenders, he said Tuesday.

Baker has previously said he would introduce a bill in response to the case of Wayne Chapman, who was sentenced in 1977 to serve 30 years in prison for the rapes of two boys and then civilly committed as a sexually dangerous person.

Chapman is now slated to be released from the civil commitment after two psychologists ruled that he is no longer a danger.

"A lot of people have expressed concerns to their lawmakers about this, and look, it's a legitimate issue," Baker told reporters. "The fact that somebody who has admitted to somewhere between 50 and 100 rapes of a child, I mean this guy should never get out and I think it's unfortunate, disgraceful in some respects, that we find ourselves in this position, but if we don't learn from this experience and make adjustments so that it can't happen in the future, shame on us."

The governor said he has spoken to some lawmakers about the issue and hopes they act quickly on his legislation. He said that if the bill is passed, its changes would not apply to the the Chapman case.

"But we will be able to make it effective with respect to cases going forward, and I think that's equally important," he said.

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