Dan Ford's Closing Argument
(CLOSING ARGUMENT BY ATTY. FORD) [Somewhat annotated]
Mr. Foreman, ladies and gentlemen. We have come now to that point in the trial where I am afforded one final opportunity of speaking to you for a few moments, of reviewing the evidence with you, and of trying to persuade you to see the evidence from the Commonwealth’s point of view.
But at the outset, before I get into the major thrust of my argument, I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the people of Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the attention you have given to me and to our witnesses, and for the obvious efforts you have all made to understand and ascertain the true facts of this very difficult, troublesome case.
I want you to know, while I realize that jury duty can be a bit tiring, maybe a bit tedious, perhaps even a bit frustrating at times. It’s probably the most important civic duty that can befall any American citizen because you and you alone have the right and power to decide the true facts of this case. You and you alone have the duty and responsibility of saying that Bernard Baran is guilty or not guilty of the offenses of which he is charged. Not the police, not the attorneys and not even the judge, but you.
In this country, a country which is governed by the rule of law that is an awesome power and an awesome responsibility and one to which, I’m sure you will all be equal.
You know, not too many years ago when I was in law school I heard that the jury system as essentially we know it now, has been with us since approximately the year 1200. So that before the American Revolution, before the Spanish Inquisition, before Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World there was a jury system and the reason the jury system has endured for all these numbers of years is that it works. It’s the best system known to the civilized world for ascertaining the truth in criminal cases that come before our courts.
In a few moments you’re going to be asked to retire and to render a verdict and I thin k you should know that the word “verdict” is derived from the ancient Latin expression, ‘veritas dictu” and what that means when translated is to speak the truth and to tell us what the true facts of this case really are.
You know, last night when I sat down to try to compose my thoughts and prepare my final argument I was content to simply stand up before you to thank you for your attention, to ask you to bring back a guilty verdict, and to sit down. Because, you see, final arguments have historically been the time when the great orators of the trial lawyers’ profession stand before juries and with the use of bombastic language, fire and brimstone, unrestrained histrionic, metaphors, similes and that type of thing, they hammer home their point of view and they persuade and convince juries to return the verdict which they seek, but ladies and gentlemen , I’ve got a problem.
My problem is that nothing I – or for that matter any other trial lawyer – could say could possibly be as persuasive or as convincing as the testimony of those little children who testified before you over the course of this trial.
I dare say that the great Clarence Darrow himself would pale in comparison next to them.
But, Mr. Conway has made an argument pointing out what he considers the flaws in the Commonwealth’s case to be and is asking you to return a verdict of not guilty. So, having sat here and listened patiently to his arguments for the last hour and fifteen minutes, a duty requires that I make an argument of my own outlining the compelling nature of the Commonwealth’s case and asking you to return a verdict of guilty. That in the name of justice and decency is exactly what I ask you to do. That is precisely the verdict I’m going to ask you to return.
If ever there was a case where the ends of justice literally cry out for a guilty verdict, this is just that case and you will find me unrestrained in urging you to return one because truth is the mother of justice and in this case truth came literally from the mouths of babes. The scales of justice have been tipped irreversibly and overwhelmingly in the Commonwealth’’s favor.
There are seven indictments and two complaints alleging sexual molestation of five children. Not one or two, but five. Five. The defense would have you believe that these charges are the result of some kind of prejudice against Mr. Baran or some sort of mass hysteria on the part of the parents. [Of course, this is precisely what happened.]
In fact, they want you to believe that the parents went to the children and planted a seed in their minds and then constantly reinforced that seed and coaxed or coerced their children to repeat a lie time and time again until they came to court this week and said it for the final time.
Well, you saw those children and you saw their parents. Did those parents strike you as a hysterical mob out for a pound of flesh at any price? Judy Smith, Donna Thompson, Tim Larson, Marsha Stone, Lee Ann Bailey. [Names changed to protect anonymity of the child witnesses.] Did they strike you that way or did they impress you as a group of deeply concerned parents frightened and worried to be sure, but a far cry from hysterical.
Do you really think, that parents would keep coaxing and coaching their children to say that they had been sexually abused if, in fact, they hadn’t been? Don’t you think that a most welcome discovery that a parent could make under these circumstances would be that his or her child hadn’t been sexually abused? All the trauma would be eliminated.
[It is now known that in these cases the worst interrogation was done by nearly hysterical parents. Of course these parents didn't want their children to have been abused. But they had been told (1) that they almost certainly had been abused, (2) that abused children were like locked vaults and had to be strongly pressured to "disclose," and that (3) failure to force disclosure would result in causing severe psychological damage to the child and leaving a predatory child rapist at large. Naturally, many parents persisted until they obtained their accusations. The overwhelming majority of the questioned children, however, resisted the pressure and refused to accuse Baran.
I once saw Middlesex County DA Lynn Rooney make this identical argument in the Fells Acres (Amirault) case. Judge Isaac Borenstein saw her argument for the rubbish that it is.]
The necessity of having the child testify would be avoided and the terrible nightmare that these people have had to go through would be put behind them once and for all. Why in God’s name would any parent pressure to come to court and testify before sixteen jurors about the horrible bloodcurdling things that these little children had to say? The answer is: They wouldn’t.
[If you actually read the testimony you see that the "bloodcurdling things" are nothing more than monosyllables and nods in response to very leading questions by Ford himself.]
And furthermore, even if they would they couldn’t. Maybe one parent – anything is possible – maybe one parent could brainwash a child and fool all the experts. But five? Five different parents from all walks of life?
[Actually, it was the "experts" who brainwashed both the children and their parents. Of the hundreds of children questioned, all but a handful actually resisted. Five is not a terribly impressive number.]
Beyond that you heard the child psychiatrist, Dr, King, tell you that a child of such tender years simply does not have the cognitive ability to make up or fabricate a story of sexual abuse. Common sense would tell us that three and four-year-old children simply wouldn’t talk about these types of things unless they really happened.
[But the narrators in this case and others like it were not the children. The narrators were the interrogators. It was the interrogators who created the abuse stories and led the children into making the accusations.]
Jane Satullo, that distinguished child psychotherapist told us that the fact that a child gives the same account of what happened over and over again, is of extreme significance. That if it were a fantasy or something that a person told the child to say, the child couldn’t repeat it in detail time and time again, that a child of such a young age simply couldn’t remember a fantasy or untruth or a lie for this long a period of time.
[Had the jury accurately remembered the testimony, this statement would have worked against Ford. The children had been repeatedly rehearsed for many weeks. But they were so young that they couldn't remember the stories they were supposed to tell, and weren't consistent even under Ford's insistent and leading questioning.]
We were fortunate in this case, very fortunate to have a number of well-trained, very experienced, highly professionally investigators who have spent years studying the phenomena of child sexual abuse and interviewing children who have been sexually abused. Do you think that all of them could be fooled? All of them? Jane Satullo, Patricia Palumbo, Mike Harrigan, Robert Scott a State police Investigator assigned to a major criminal investigation unit, peter McGuire a Pittsfield Detective with years of experience, all highly trained in this type of investigation? Do you think that they could all be taken in?
[These "investigators" were taken in by the "experts" of their day - people like Roland Summit, Suzanne Sgroi, Nicholas Groth, and others. These "experts" were not scientists, they were therapists. They spun theories out of their own heads, and justified these theories as "based upon clinical experience." But none of the theories had at the time been put to the test. Eventually, they were. And all of the theories proved to be incorrect.]
I’m sure you recall the testimony of Dr. Suzanne King, She told us that Gina Smith’s emotional trauma was real, that the trauma, the fear from which Gina was and is still suffering, could not be the result of some fabrication.
What did Dr. King tell us that Gina is afraid of? A man named Bernie. A man named Bernie. That is what this case is all about.
[If Gina had in fact been "traumatized" - and I suspect that Dr. King was not qualified to make that judgment - she had been traumatized by police, prosecutors, therapists, and her own hysterical mother.]
Mr Conway told us in his opening statement that he would show us that Bernard Baran never had access to these children, that he couldn’t have done these terrible things because he never had the opportunity. Well, you heard the testimony, ladies and gentlemen. You heard what those teachers had to say. Bernard Baran was alone with those children practically on a daily basis. [False and unsupported by testimony] With the chances he had he could have sodomized and abused those children whenever he felt the primitive urge to satisfy his sexual appetite. [Incredible!]
Pat Coulter left school for an hour every day. If Mary Morin had to leave the room during that time which she frequently did to make copies, to have lunch, to use the bathroom, Bernard Baran would be alone with those children.
Stephanie Adornetto left the room to attend staff meetings during that time. If Eileen Ferry left the room for any reason which she frequently did, Bernard Baran would be alone with those children. Stephanie Adornetto left work every day at 1:30. From 1:30 on Baran was there with Eileen Ferry. If Eileen Ferry took the afternoon off or drove the bus Bernard Baran would be left alone with those children. If May Morin had to cook or if Eileen Ferry had bus training Bernard Baran was left alone with those children.
On Thursdays he stayed up late to close up the Center. If a mother was late in picking up her child Baran would be left alone with that child. If a child had to leave the playground to use the bathroom Bernard Baran would oftentimes take that child indoors and be alone with that child behind closed and potentially locked doors. That’s to say nothing of field trips. When Bernard Baran was left alone with small groups of children in places like the State Forest, Ward’s Nursery, the Dorothy Amos Playground and Pitt’s Playground and those types of places. That’s to say nothing of his propensity for playing games like hide and seek in sheds, in playhouses on the school grounds. [Hide-and-seek was a common game at daycare centers. There was a locked shed on the property. Baran was not one of the people who had a key to it.] That’s to say nothing of the fact that the school was in turmoil for several months during the summer of 1984 and the fact that two teachers, Stephanie and Eileen were fired for allegedly lack of supervision of those children.
[This is an incredible feat of circular reasoning on Ford's part. Stephanie and Eileen were fired because they were Barans's supervisors, and Baran was presumed guilty by almost everyone from the first accusation. Ford uses their firing as proof that Baran was improperly supervised. But the firing in fact was based on the assumption that he was improperly supervised because he was obviously guilty.]
If there ever was a man with the opportunity to commit a crime with which he is charged Bernard Baran is that man. He was like a chocoholic in a candy store, and indeed, for him perpetrating these despicable acts was like taking candy from a baby.
Mr. Conway says, yes, but he was never really alone. There was always somebody close by, He always ran the risk of being discovered or found out.
Well, members of the jury, you don’t need much time to commit these kinds of crimes. All it takes is one crying child to divert a teacher’s attention and he’s got the five or ten minutes that he needs.
[What Ford is alleging is quite astounding. At unpredictable times and for short indefinite periods, perhaps of "five or ten minutes," Baran was left alone with the children and used the time to commit violent and sadistic rapes. Perhaps Ford believes that gay men have supernatural powers of evil — a belief evidently shared by the jury.]
But, just to be sure the children would say nothing about it, just to be sure his scheme wouldn’t be revealedr he took out a little insurance and he told these children some wonderful children’s stories, some perfectly delightful fairy tales designed to frighten them to the point where they wouldn’t breathe a word of it. Like telling Johnny Larson about wolves that eat little boys, about the fires of hell and about devils. Like telling Virginia Stone that he would kill her mother if she told. Like telling Gina Smith about the bird’s nest game, that if she told anybody about what Bernie did to her the baby bird’s mother would be taken away by the pretend police and the baby bird would be hurt. That one frightened Gina so much she couldn’t even tell us about it here in court. She could talk about being raped, she could talk about being sodomized but she wouldn’t repeat the bird’s nest story. That’s how much that one scared her.
[Ford is promoting the theory that pedophiles protect themselves by instilling fear into children. This is not true. They almost invariably secure silence by gaining trust. In rare cases where threats have been made, the children have usually told on the pedophile.]
We can only imagine what that story must have been to her.
[And we can only imagine what the bird's nest game must have been in the twisted imaginations of Dan Ford and the therapists who interrogated Gina.]
Mr. Conway has insinuated or implied that perhaps the bird’s nest story is, in some way, attributable to Richard Herdman, the custodian. You heard Mr. Herdman. He told you about a dead bird. No nest, just a dead bird in the school bathroom on the second floor. The bird wasn’t in any egg or partially in the egg as the bird in Gina Smith’s story. Mr. Herdxnan didn’t tell the kids any story about the dead bird. As a matter of fact, Gina Smith never even caw it. That bird was shown to children on the second floor in classroom #3 and we know Gina Smith was in classroom #1.
So, Gina Smith never saw the bird that Mr. Herdman found. So it’s abundantly clear, ladies and gentlemen, that summoning Mr. Herdman into court and implying that he might be in some way responsible for this is nothing short of reprehensible. The act of a desperate man trying to shift blame away from where it really belongs. But if there remains any shadow of a doubt about that may I suggest that it was eliminated by the testimony of Trooper Robert Scott. Remember how he testified he showed those ten photoqraphs to both Virginia and to Gina? No reaction whatsoever when they looked at Herdman’s photograph but a reaction of absolute terror when they looked at Bernie Baran’s photograph.
Trooper Scott told you that before he even turned the board over Virginia started to cry. When he said, “Why?” she said, “you’re going to show me a picture of Bernie.” Gina wouldn’t even say his name out loud, she whispered. it “Bernie,” in Trooper Scott’s ear and Trooper Scott told you that Gina was asked “Who in this group of people did bad things to you?” and she responded not to photograph nine, but to photograph number seven, a photograph of that man, Mr. Bernard Baran.
Bernard Baran is the child abuser, ladies and gentlemen, not Richard Herdman, and about that there can be no reasonable doubt. And, that’s our burden.
Judge Simons will tell you that the Commonwealth’s burden is, in fact, proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s a burden that we accept willingly and one that I submit to you has been met in this case. But remember, the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt does not mean proof beyond any and all doubt. It doesn’t mean proof beyond a whimsical or fanciful doubt, proof beyond the possibility of innocence. It doesn’t mean guilt to a mathematical certainty. No, it simply means guilt to a moral certainty. Are you certain in your hearts that Bernard Baran did the things to which he is charged? It’s the same burden which exists in courtrooms throughout this country when criminal cases are tried -every day of the week
It’s the same burden which has existed in criminal cases for well over one-hundred years. It’s a difficult burden to be sure, but it’s by no means an impossible or insurmountable burden.
Recall this also. The burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt applies only to the essential elements of the crime. It doecnt apply to each and every fact we’ve been talking about, hut only to the essential elements of these crimes. It doesn’t matter, for example, if these things occurred in the morning or the afternoon, if they occurred in the bathroom or the storage shed or the playhouses or the playground or the nap rooms. It doesn’t matter on what date they occurred because those things are not the essential elements of the crimes.
So I ask you to listen very carefully when Judge Simons tells you that the essential elements of indecent assault and battery and statutory rape are. I think that he will tell you that indecent assault and battery is the unpermitted, unprivileged touching of another done in a sexual context or in a way that is indecent and that word is commonly understood. think he’ll tell you that statutory rape is intercourse which includes penetration by something of any orifice of the human body with a child under sixteen years of age.
Well, measured against that standard consider the evidence that we heard in this case. You heard Billy (sic) Larson tell you while in the woods, or while in the shed, Bernie Baran touched him and when I asked him where he pointed to his penis. He pointed to the genital area of that male doll and he pointed to his fanny. Now, obviously Johnny Larson isn’t old enough to give a knowing or informed consent to this type of touching- So if that isn’t indecent assault and battery nothing is.
Richard Thompson testified that Bernie touched him in the same places, his penis, his crotch and then he told you something else, that Bernie Baran put his penis somewhere and when I asked him where you remember that Richard indicated in his mouth. Well, inserting a penis into a child’s mouth satisfies the element of penetration and so on Richard Thompson Bernard Baran is guilty of both indecent assault and battery and rape.
The same thing is true of Virginia Stone. You heard her tell you that Bernie touched her on her vagina, that rubbinq motion that you saw on the outside of her vagina, and then she said that Mr. Baran put his penis into her mouth. Again, rape and indecent assault and batterv.
Annie Brown, same thing. I asked her: Where did Bernie touch you? and she pointed to her genitals and when I asked her how, you remember that she took that doll and she put her finger into the doll’s vaginal opening and she said, “He touched me in here.”
I suggest on those indictments you’re warranted in returning a verdict of either indecent assault and battery or statutory rape. And, based upon Gina’s (sic) testimony “in here” I submit that rape is the correct verdict.
Finally, there’s Gina Smith whose testimony would melt your heart. Whoever wrote the old saw about little girls being made of sugar and spice and everything nice, must have had Gina Smith in mind. She told you that Bernie, her teacher, touched her here and pointed to the area that she called her privies. Touched her here, she pointed to her fanny. Well, that’s indecent assault and battery. Then she told you that Bernie put his peniey as she calls it, into her vaginal opering and into her mouth and something that she called pretend worms squirted from Bernie’s penis on to her leg and that when Bernie put his peniey into her privies it hurt her and she began to bleed. The very thought of doing that to a three-year-old child like Gina, the personification of innocence, is so monstrous, so horrible so ghastly that there is something inside all of us that wants to cry out and say: “No, it can’t be true. He couldn’t have done a thing like that.” [He couldn't and he didn't.]
Yet you heard Dr. Sheeley, Gina’s pediatrician, who told you that there are splits in Gina’s hymenal ring, that in effect little Gina Smith’s hymen is ruptured, and that in her opinion the rupture was caused by the insertion of something like a penis or like adult fingers into Gina’s vagina. There is the clear unconroverted evidence of rape. As unthinkable as it may be, there it is. That’s the evidence — and it points to only one unavoidable conclusion: Bernard Baran did it. Bernard Baran entered that child psychologically and physically and now today it’s his day of reckoning.
[Gina's slight hymenal irregularities are common in non-abused children. No expert today would claim them as evidence of abuse.]
Did you watch Gina when she testified? Did you see how she turned as white as a ghost when she was on that witness stand? If he didn’t do it how can we account for Gina’s injuries? She didn’t do it to herself. Dr. Sheeley told us that. I almost fell out of my chair, I couldn’t believe my ears when Mr. Conway said that Gina may have masturbated with scissors and cut herself. [I'm quite sure Conway made no such ridiculous claim. Gina's nutsoid New Age parents forced the child to witness the birth of her baby brother. After this, she was observed trying to insert things into her vagina. Conway might have been making some reference to this.] I couldn’t believe my ears. Bernard Baran was the only male teacher at E.C.D.C. Yes, there was a male substitute who was there for ten days maybe, in September.
But, Janie Trumpy told you that Gina Smith left in July. Gina Smith left E.C.D.C. in July. The male substitute was there in September. So, who abused her? Who violated her? He did. He did. Make no mistake about it.
Gina Smith’s testimony has been corroborated down to each last terrifying detail. Her mother told you that she came home one day with a cut on her foot and you heard Gina tell you when Bernie hurt her by putting his peniey in her privies she started to bleed. So, to account for the blood Baran cut her foot so there wouldn’t be any reason to question the presence of blood and his secret wouldn’t be discovered. [There is not a shred of evidence to support this ridiculous claim of Dan Ford's.] You heard Dr. King. tell you that Gina has dreams about danger, about bad men hurting her, about her hands being cut off. You heard Dr. King tell us about a game that Gina plays with her legs as a tunnel, and cars going through that tunnel and an accident occuring and there being blood as if Gina were reenacting exactly what happened to her while at ECDC. Can you imagine the psychological damage that Gina has suffered?
Mr. Conway says: “Well, if Gina were cut there would be a record of it.” Where’s the record? Well, you heard the testimony. The people responsible for keeping those records have been fired. Julie Smith told us that. She was on the Board of Directors of E.C.D.C. The Center was in a turmoil. Even if a record had been made the record was in a place to which Baran would have access on the third floor in an office which was not occupied because there was no director for four or five weeks of the Summer. There was absolutely no reason why that record couldn’t have been removed and destroyed.
[By whom, for God's sake? The vast international homosexual conspiracy?]
So, I suggest that Gina Smith’s testimony ought to be accepted and believed because it has been verified by an absolute abundance of other credible, believable evidence — and she’s not the only one You heard Johnny’s father and you heard Richard’s mother tell us about the changes that they observed in their children’s behavior while they attended E.C.D.,C. How Richard regressed in his behavior, began wetting the bed. How Johnny would take off take off his clothes when he went to the bathroom and sit on the couch and try to masturbate.
Do you recall what Jane Satullo told us? Clear cut signs that sexual abuse have occurred, classic indicator. [It is now known that there are no behavioral indicators of childhood sexual abuse.] You heard Annie Brown and Virginia Stone tell us about what hapenned to them and then we heard Robert Scott and Pete McGuire tell us about what Virginia and Annie said to them way back last October when this first broke. It was virtually identical to what Virginia and Annie told us from the witness stand.
You heard Jane Satullo tell us that in children of that age consistency in these types of stories is of extreme significance. It indicates one thing — that they’re telling the truth.
[The children's narratives were created not by the children but by Ms. Satullo and her colleagues. They badgered the children until the children complied. Thus it is not surprising that the children told consistent stories. Satullo herself was the prime author of the stories.]
So Virginia and Annie, like all the rest have had their testimony corroborated and verified in such a way that the inescapable, unavoidable conclusion is that Bernard Baran is guilty of molesting each and every one of them. Mr. Conway says: “No, it can’t be. It can’t be. Peter Hanes had gonorrhea in his mouth and Bernard Baran didn’t have gonorrhea.” [Because a highly unreliable gonorrhea test was used, it is unlikely that Peter actually had gonnorrhea. Moreover, the judge had thrown out all of the charges involving Peter Hanes. The jury should not be considering testimony concerning him. Yet Conway makes no objection.] Well, in the first place you heard Dr. Sheeley and Dr. Ross say that it is entirely possible for a person who has gonorrhea to give it to one sex partner and not to another. It depends on the type of contact for one thing. A person who has gonorrhea on his penis is not going to give it to a child by putting his finger into the child’s private area. It’s not going to be spread that way.
You heard the doctors say that gonorrhea is the kind of disease that can be cured very easily and quickly. With the proper treatment it takes twelve to twenty-four hours, sometimes forty-eight hours. Bernard Baran did not have gonorrhea on October 10th, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have it when he raped these children. Remember he was bailed out on October 7th at 2:00 P.M. He was tested three days later on October 10th after 7:00 P.M. If he had it don’t you think the first thing he would have done upon being bailed out is to have it treated to get rid of it and three days is adequate time. We know that from the medical testimony. But don’t stop there. If he had it at any point before October 6th he would have gotten rid of it the next day. it’s entirely consistent for him to have had it when he abused Peter Hanes and the next time he had access to a child, for him to have gotten rid of it it’s perfectly consistent and perfectly logical to consider.
Remember Dr. Ross told you that people who have had it once before have a greater chance of getting it a second time by virtue of their lice style. You recall Bernard Baran’s own testimony that when he was fourteen or fifteen he had venereal disease. What does that tell you? That tells you why~ Peter Hanes had gonorrhea in his throat. Poor little boy.
[Again, Ford's remarks are highly improper. All charges involving Hanes had been thrown out.]
You know, Mr. Conway would have you believe that it’s so simple to tell a child what to say, to plant some seed in a child’s mind and have it just regurgitate it back to you. We have to look no further than Peter Hanes to dispel that notion.
[Once again, Ford invokes Hanes. In general, it is difficult to tell a child what to say. Some children are highly susceptible. Others very resistant. But the resistant ones had been weeded out and only the six most suggestible accusers were retained. Then their testimony was rehearsed -- over and over agian -- over a period of weeks. And yet Ford got little from the kids other than nods and monosyllables. And he often had to repeat questions many times to get those.]
As a matter of fact, all these children that testified, I suggest — and it’s your memory that is controlling — did a great deal more than just say, yes or no — did a great deal more than just shake their heads up and down or sideways. [This is false, as shown by the actual testimony.] Many times Mr. Conway tried to put words in their mouths and those children wouldn’t let him, would they? Remember he asked Johnny Larson: “Did Mr. Ford tell you what happened, Johnny?” And Johnny’s answer “No, I told him.” Remember he asked Annie Brown, “Stephanie and Eileen were there when Bernie touched you, weren’t they?” Her answer — three years old — “No, they were gone.” These children can’t be fooled about a thing like this, ladies and gentlemen.
Jane Satullo told us that children of this age are no more impressionable on matters of sexual attack than anyone else. You can’t tell a child what to say when the subject is sexual abuse, because they don’t know what you’re talking about unless they experienced it first hand like these children did.
[Subsequent research has demonstrated that Satullo was dead wrong.]
And in addition, it’s not so much what they say as how they said it that I submit is as important.
Did you see the way Peter Hanes kept looking at him out of the corner of his eye when he sat there and testified? [Yet again, Ford invokes Hanes.] ] He kept turning his head away so he couldn’t see him. Did you see Richard’s reaction when he walked into the courtroom and saw Baran sitting there? Did you see the way Annie put that teddy bear in front of her face so she wouldn’t have to look at him when she testified? Did you see the way Gina Smith reacted when her mother volunteered to pick her up so she could see and identify Baran? That was fear, ladies and gentlemen. That was real plain and simple fear of the type that Dr. King described to you.
Ask yourselves this: Did these childrens’ testimony have the ring of truth to it? And the answer will certainly be,yes. Then ask yourselves if Bernard Baran’s had the ring of truth to it and the answer will most certainly be, no, when I asked him questions. He admitted finally that there were times when he was left alone with the kids although it was like pulling teeth to get him to say so. Did you get the impression that he was being completely honest and forthright about that or did he seem to try to minimize the amount of time he was alone with those children? He told us he worked there for two and-a-half years and had the run of the place, knew where the files were, knew what was in every room in the building and yet didn’t know that the keys to the storage sheds were hanging on a hook in the janitor’s room in the basement.
Mr. Herdman worked there since March and he knew it.
He told us he came to work at 8 o’clock or 8:30 sometimes ten or fifteen minutes early — but Eileen Ferry came to work with him at 8:30. Yet he admitted that he might have told Brian Cummings the D.S.S. worker that he might have come to work at 7 o’clock with Eileen Ferry — an absolute bold faced lie.
Why would he lie to Brian Cummings or admit the possibility he might have lied to Brian Cummings? He explained the pretend police that Gina talked about by telling us: “Maybe I told Gina that was a pretend policeman.” Well, there are no pretend worms in that book, ladies and gentlemen. There are no pictures of devils or wolves or hell fires in that book.
He told us that Gina had no reason to be afraid of him — none whatsoever. Yet Dr. King told us that the one recurring theme in Gina Smith’S play that she has observed from last October until now, is fear. Not fear of all men, not fear of the mailman or the custodian, fear of one man. That man is the man she calls “Bernie” the Defendant in this case. Bernard Baran.
[None of the children had any fear of Bernard Baran when he was working with ECDC. He was very well-liked. But Ford, Satullo, and their co-conspirators had spent an enormous amout of time terrorizing the children and trying to convince them that Bernie was the bogeyman.]
Did his testimony have the ring of truth to it? I suggest, no. Because the ring of truth in this case is guilt. The only true verdict in this case is a guilty verdict. The air in this courtroom literally reeks with the smell of Bernard Baran’s guilt.
[Anyplace where Dan Ford is present, the air literally reeks with the smell of something most unpleasant.]
Members of the jury, at the outset of this trial you came into this courtroom as part of a very large panel of jurors. You may have asked yourselves: Why out of all those people was I chosen to sit as a juror on this most unpleasant case? The answer is simple. Before you were chosen and sworn you were asked a series of questions by Judge Simons and in answering those questions as you did, you promised the Court and you promised me that you would decide this case fairly, with courage, integrity and that you would try your best to see to it that justice is done. I ask you now to be true to that oath and to return the only verdict that is truly consistent with and warranted by the evidence that you’ve heard and the law that you are about to hear –because the pieces of the puzzle have been finally assembled. The brick wall has been constructed. The guilt of Bernard Baran has been finally established.
I would remind you that the only way that we can all walk out of this courtroom today with our heads held high is if justice is done. I ask you to do justice and I ask you to do it by returning a verdict, which you know in your hearts, is the right one.
You know, I’ve been trying cases in this courtroom now for over six years and I’ve tried a lot of them — more than I would care to think about. I’ve never won one — I’ve never lost one – because I don’t win or lose cases. The only ones who win are the people of the commonwealth of Massachusetts who, win when justice is done. And the only ones who lose are the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who lose when justice is thwarted.
[The losers in this case were not only the people of Massachusetts, or even of the United States, but of the entire world. Bernard Baran was the first person convicted during the daycare hysteria that raged in America and elsewhere for years to come. Indeed, while it now usually takes other forms, child sex-abuse hysteria still rages. The precedent set by the Baran conviction doomed many innocent people and their families to a life of needless pain and suffering. And opportunists like Dan Ford gained in influence and power, which they retain to this day. For example, they now dominate in the Democratic Party in Massachusetts.]
I ask you to do justice — to do it by maintaining the courage of your convictions and by doing what you know has to be done. I beseech you — I beg you — think of those children and bring back a verdict of guilty on each and every one of these charges.
I can sit down now, knowing that the fate of the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the case of Commonwealth vs. Baran is in good hands. Thank you all very, very much.
Four years later, Governor Michael Dukakis — the almost comically inept Presidential candidate — would appoint Dan Ford a Superior Court Judge. He remains such today. And Bernard Baran — the survivor of over 21 years of rapes, beatings, and psychological torture — remains in prison, perhaps for the rest of his life.