AMANDA SABGA/Staff photo Wayne Chapman, 71, on the second day of his trial at Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn. 8/6/19

WOBURN — A corrections officer charged with protecting medical staff and watching Wayne Chapman testified the convicted sex offender refused to put on pants or cover himself during a June 2018 incident at MCI-Shirley. 

Corrections officer Ross Cormier testified two nursing assistants in the prison's health care services unit tried to help Chapman. An argument erupted and Cormier told the nursing assistants, both women, to get out of his room. He then locked Chapman inside, he said. 

Despite numerous requests from him and others in the unit, Chapman repeatedly exposed himself, he said. 

"He was playing on his bed with his genitals fully exposed," Ross Cormier testified Tuesday morning in Middlesex Superior Court. 

Chapman, 71, previously admitted to sexually abusing as many as 100 boys in the United States and Canada, starting when he was a child himself. He is also the longtime suspect in the 1976 disappearance of Andy Puglisi, 10, of Lawrence.

Held on $25,000 bail, Chapman is now on trial in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn for allegedly exposing himself and masturbating in front of the prison workers at MCI-Shirley. 

Judge Maureen Hogan is presiding over the trial, which is expected to last four days. 

Chapman was indicted by the Middlesex County grand jury on charges of open and gross lewdness, wanton and lascivious acts and as a habitual offender. The alleged offenses occurred on June 3 and June 4, 2018.

The trial opened Monday afternoon. Cormier was the second prosecution witness called to the stand. 

Jurors on Tuesday morning also saw a variety of videos showing the prison workers, Cormier and Chapman in the health services unit on June 3, 2018. 

Cormier, under questioning by Chapman's defense attorney, said he never heard Chapman said he would not get dressed. 

On Monday, a woman who works in the health services unit testified she felt "disgusted and violated" when Chapman repeatedly exposed himself to her in June 2018.

The woman, a certified nursing assistant, the woman said she was involved in Chapman's daily care in the unit. But what happened June 3 and June 4, 2018, went beyond her clinical duties, she testified.

"I don't see him exposed. So to see that kind of gesture was very disturbing to me. ... My job does not require me coming to work and seeing that," said the woman, who said she helped care for Chapman since 2016 in the prison's skilled nursing ward.

Prosecutor Emily Jackson called another woman, a certified nursing assistant from the prison unit, to the stand early Tuesday afternoon. 

Although Chapman was previously designated as a sexually dangerous person, the state's Supreme Judicial Court ruled Chapman could be released from state prison. However, he's been held in prison in this case and if convicted, would face additional time behind bars.

Again Tuesday, Chapman was brought into court in a wheelchair. He wore beige prison scrubs with the letters "DOC" stamped on the back of his shirt.

Chapman's history in Lawrence dates back more than four decades.

In 1975, he was convicted of raping two boys in Lawrence.

He also remains the prime suspect in the disappearance of Puglisi, who vanished from a South Lawrence swimming pool on Aug. 21, 1976.

Chapman became eligible for release from state prison May 21, 2018, when two qualified examiners — Dr. Gregg Belle and Dr. Katrin Rouse Weir — said he is too old and sick to re-offend.

If and when he's released, Chapman will have to go to a facility that can manage his deteriorating health as he cannot live independently, another of his defense attorneys, Eric Tennen, said previously.

Chapman would need a specialized facility that can accommodate his daily medical needs, Tennen said.

In addition to Parkinson's disease, diabetes and incontinence, Chapman also has heart and stomach problems, high blood pressure, migraines, depression, and mobility issues. He also underwent a prostatectomy, according to court records.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.

This story is still developing. Check eagletribune.com and The Eagle-Tribune for updates.

Recommended for you