Berkshire Athenaeum

Pittsfield, MA


  

Wednesday December 12, 2018
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7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Bernard Baran: Freeing an Innocent Pittsfield Man After 22 Years

On October 6, 1984, Bernard Baran, a 19-year-old openly gay daycare worker, was arrested in Pittsfield MA on two counts of sexual assault and battery of a child. A month later, after a grand jury viewed heavily edited video footage of child interviews, he was indicted on five counts of rape and five counts of indecent assault. After a week-long jury trial beginning in January 1985, he was found guilty on all counts, sentenced to three concurrent life terms, and remanded to the maximum security Cedar Junction facility at Walpole MA.
Shunted from one correctional facility to the next, repeatedly raped, beaten, and otherwise abused, Bernard Baran steadfastly maintained his innocence. After spending 22 years in prison, Baran was freed under probationary conditions in 2006, and finally cleared by the Massachusetts Appeals Court in 2009. After five years of freedom, he died suddenly in 2014.

At 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 12, 2018, at the Berkshire Athenaeum, the Pittsfield Human Rights Commission invites the public to revisit this tragic case, with a presentation from three of Baran’s principal advocates:

  • Robert B. Chatelle, founder and executive director of the National Center for Reason and Justice, co-founder of the Bernard Baran Justice Committee
  • James D’Entremont, journalist and playwright, former staff writer for The Guide, first reporter to cover the Baran case in the LGBT press.
  • John Swomley, Boston-based criminal defense attorney, head of Bernard Baran’s legal team from 1999 onward. His advocacy on behalf of indigent defendants won him the Paul Liacos Mental Health Advocacy Award in 2000.

Presented by the City of Pittsfield Human Rights Commission, co-sponsored by the National Center for Reason and Justice and the Berkhshire Athenaeum.

Free and open to the public.

This program has been approved for Forum Credit for BCC students.

CONTACT: Drew Herzig  drewherzig@yahoo.com
LOCATION: Library Auditorium

On October 6, 1984, Bernard Baran, a 19-year-old openly gay daycare worker, was arrested in Pittsfield MA on two counts of sexual assault and battery of a child. A month later, after a grand jury viewed heavily edited video footage of child interviews, he was indicted on five counts of rape and five counts of indecent assault. After a week-long jury trial beginning in January 1985, he was found guilty on all counts, sentenced to three concurrent life terms, and remanded to the maximum security Cedar Junction facility at Walpole MA.
Shunted from one correctional facility to the next, repeatedly raped, beaten, and otherwise abused, Bernard Baran steadfastly maintained his innocence. After spending 22 years in prison, Baran was freed under probationary conditions in 2006, and finally cleared by the Massachusetts Appeals Court in 2009. After five years of freedom, he died suddenly in 2014.

At 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 12, 2018, at the Berkshire Athenaeum, the Pittsfield Human Rights Commission invites the public to revisit this tragic case, with a presentation from three of Baran’s principal advocates:

  • Robert B. Chatelle, founder and executive director of the National Center for Reason and Justice, co-founder of the Bernard Baran Justice Committee
  • James D’Entremont, journalist and playwright, former staff writer for The Guide, first reporter to cover the Baran case in the LGBT press.
  • John Swomley, Boston-based criminal defense attorney, head of Bernard Baran’s legal team from 1999 onward. His advocacy on behalf of indigent defendants won him the Paul Liacos Mental Health Advocacy Award in 2000.

Presented by the City of Pittsfield Human Rights Commission, co-sponsored by the National Center for Reason and Justice and the Berkhshire Athenaeum.

Free and open to the public.

This program has been approved for Forum Credit for BCC students.

CONTACT:
  Drew Herzig
  
  drewherzig@yahoo.com

LOCATION: Library Auditorium

Monday December 17, 2018
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6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Libations with Librarians

Hotel on North is excited to team up with the Berkshire Athenaeum for Libations with Librarians -- a monthly book club in the Lounge!

This month Berkshire Athenaeum Outreach Librarian Alex Geller will lead a discussion of Girl waits with gun / Amy Stewart.

Copies of the book may be requested through the Reference Department at the Berkshire Athenaeum.

Grab a pint or just grab a seat! We'd love to see you in the Lounge and share this experience with you. 

Hotel on North is located at 297 North Street, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

 
Sponsored by the Berkshire Athenaeum and Hotel on North.
CONTACT: Alex Geller  413-499-9480 ext 202
LOCATION: Hotel on North

Hotel on North is excited to team up with the Berkshire Athenaeum for Libations with Librarians -- a monthly book club in the Lounge!

This month Berkshire Athenaeum Outreach Librarian Alex Geller will lead a discussion of Girl waits with gun / Amy Stewart.

Copies of the book may be requested through the Reference Department at the Berkshire Athenaeum.

Grab a pint or just grab a seat! We'd love to see you in the Lounge and share this experience with you. 

Hotel on North is located at 297 North Street, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

 
Sponsored by the Berkshire Athenaeum and Hotel on North.
CONTACT:
  Alex Geller
  413.499.9480 ext 202
  

LOCATION: Hotel on North


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EK/TK MARS : FALCON : 2018_11_16 8:30 PM
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