Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is setting out to toughen sex offender laws.
He is proposing two changes: (1) an increase to the penalty for rape of a child with force by someone who has already been convicted of sexual offenses to life without parole. and the establishment of a new charge for the rape of multiple children with force, which would carry a mandatory life sentence, and (2) release from civil commitment would require a hearing by a new, five-member “sexual dangerousness review board” as opposed to the opinions of two “qualified experts” that is currently required.
According to the Gloucester Times, “Baker’s proposal is backed by many police chiefs and other law enforcement officials who argued that serial child rapists like Wayne Chapman are likely to reoffend. “They do not just commit their crime once and stop,” Marblehead police Chief Robert Picariello told the panel. “They’re serial offenders who perpetrate their crime again and again.” But Michael Ryan, an attorney with the Committee for Public Counsel Services who has represented defendants accused of sex crimes, told the panel that convicted sex offenders have one of the lowest rates of recidivism.”