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Release of child rapist with more than 100 victims on hold after appeal by attorney

The release of an admitted child rapist is on hold until Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court can review the decision to release him, according to attorney Wendy Murphy. 

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Murphy, who is also a victims' advocate, filed an appeal to Wayne Chapman's release Thursday. 

Chapman has admitted to molesting more than 100 boys and is the longtime suspect in the Andy Puglisi disappearance.

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70-year-old Chapman has been behind bars since 1977, when he was convicted of raping young boys. He finished serving his sentence in 2004, but has been held as a sexually dangerous person for the last 14 years.

This week, the Department of Corrections said Chapman must be released after two qualified examiners recently found him no longer sexually dangerous. 

Under state law, the DOC ordered his release.

While in custody Chapman, with few exceptions, has consistently refused to take part in sex offender treatment.

Chapman's lawyer told Boston 25 News that his client is ill and will likely never be able to leave the hospital. 

Earlier this year, Chapman filed a petition for release from civil commitment, arguing he is no longer sexually dangerous. Chapman has had several of these public hearings before single judges and juries, and he lost each time.

>> Related: Convicted child rapist Wayne Chapman no longer a threat, state determines

The most recent decision was January 2016, when a jury found Chapman still sexually dangerous.

In preparation for the upcoming hearing scheduled for July, two "qualified examiners" met with Chapman and found him no longer sexually dangerous. Under a 2009 SJC decision, once that happens, release is mandated.

Murphy's appeal alleged that procedure was not correctly followed. Murphy also said the SJC is asking Department of Corrections, the Attorney General's office, the District Attorney and Chapman's lawyer to respond to the appeal by next Wednesday. 

Murphy said the victims are relieved, grateful, and optimistic that Chapman's release has been delayed.

>> Related: Lawyer: Wayne Chapman's undisclosed medical condition requires daily attention

Governor Charlie Baker's Office sent Boston 25 News the following statement:

“Governor Baker believes anyone with Wayne Chapman’s history of convictions should not be released from prison, the Legislature should review the state laws that led to his release so that the victims of such horrible crimes are protected in the future, and supports the SJC’s decision to review this case.”

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