A convicted child rapist was freed from a Massachusetts jail on Saturday due to “risk for complications” if he were to catch the coronavirus.
Glenn Christie, 54, repeatedly raped a 12-year-old boy which lead to his convictions for child rape and indecent assault on a child under 14. Though he had already been released from prison for those crimes, he was now being held for repeatedly violating his ten-year long parole orders.
On Friday, Superior Court Judge Heidi Brieger ordered Christie be released over concerns about his health making him more vulnerable to the coronavirus. He currently uses a wheelchair and has kidney disease, spinal stenosis, and other health issues.
“The health risks to a person in custody caused by the pandemic constitute changed circumstances,” which entitle Christie to a new hearing, Chief Justice Ralph Gants wrote, according to a report from The Salem News. “We also conclude that, in conducting that (new) review, a judge must give careful consideration not only to the risks posed by releasing the defendant –- flight, danger to others or to the community, and likelihood of further criminal acts — but also, during this pandemic, to the risk that the defendant might die or become seriously ill if kept in custody.”
Christie’s attorney, David Rangaviz, had argued that two people have already died from the virus at the prison — including Christie’s former cellmate.
Rangaviz is now facing major backlash for publicly celebrating freeing the pedophile on social media. He claims that he has even received death threats.
“Mr. Christie was ordered released this morning by the Superior Court!” Rangaviz tweeted Friday. “There are so many move lives to save, but it is an unbelievable relief to get him released while it appears he may have dodged this ongoing outbreak in his facility.”
Yesterday at 9PM — 10 hours after the judge’s order — my client was released.
And I’m getting death threats for winning this case.
This article tells the story of why he was held, and his fight for release from a place with an ongoing outbreak:https://t.co/xTTRomAjwy
— Dave Rangaviz (@DRangaviz) April 5, 2020
“Yesterday at 9PM — 10 hours after the judge’s order — my client was released. And I’m getting death threats for winning this case,” Rangaviz tweeted on Sunday.
Christie was sent back to prison for missing a meeting with his probation officer, being suspended from his sex offender treatment program and violating the terms of his GPS monitoring. He was supposed to remain in custody for “one to two” years.