New Serial Rapist Law Isn’t Enough, Sexual Violence Litigator Says

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New Serial Rapist Law Isn’t Enough, Sexual Violence Litigator Says

Wendy Murphy, second from the left, testifies in support of new serial rapist law.

Wendy Murphy, second from the left, testifies in support of new serial rapist law.

Wendy Murphy, second from the left, testifies in support of new serial rapist law.

Wendy Murphy, second from the left, testifies in support of new serial rapist law.

Clayton Anderson

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An attorney who represents child rape victims urged state legislators Wednesday to create a law that would prevent repeat sexual predators from ever getting out of jail.  

Wendy Murphy, second from the left, testifies in support of new serial rapist law.

Wendy Murphy, a law professor who has served on the state Commission against Sexual and Domestic Violence, said the proposed sexual predator legislation does not go far enough.

“This would not have led to life behind bars for Wayne Chapman, despite him having been convicted of horrific abuse of eleven children,” she said. 

Chapman, 70, has served  41 years in prison after admitting that he had raped up to 100 children. He was scheduled to be released from prison earlier this month. But then, he exposed himself and masturbated in front of prison nurses, and now is being held without bail.  

Chapman’s case prompted the governor to take action, but the bill would only give life sentences to serial rapists who used violent force.

“My clients were subdued by Chapman’s words alone.” Murphy said. “Why the governor requires use of force is beyond me.” Repeat pedophiles who prey on children with non-physical tactics, such as manipulation, would not be affected by such legislation. 

Don’t believe statistics that claim released pedophiles have low recidivism rates, she warned, noting that such data is misleading because more than 90% of child rapes are not even reported. Ex-cons can be especially dangerous, since child molesters often share techniques in prison about the best ways to rape children, she says. 

Murphy believes the new law will pass, but she’s concerned that those who advocate for more lenient punishments may slow down the approval process. 

“The rapist lobby, as I like to call them, is very influential in Massachusetts.” she said. “If they want to drag it out, they will.” 

As of now, however, Murphy feels confident that the bill will gain momentum. 

“This is the beginning of the end.” she said, smiling.