David Hanes Doubts Baran's Guilt

[The following exchange comes from pp. 13-24 of a deposition given by David Hanes (pseudonym) on July 14, 1988. The deposition shows that Hanes eventually had doubts about Baran's guilt. It also reveals a lot about the family life and moral character -- or absence thereof -- of the family that accused Baran of sexual abuse, thus destroying his life. The deposition was taken because Julie Hanes was suing ECDC for several million dollars. J. Norman O'Connor was a lawyer representing ECDC at that time. Gerard DiSanti was representing Julie Hanes.]

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Now, while you were living with Julie Hanes, and Peter was living with you, I take it?

DAVID HANES: (Nodding).

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Am I correct?


J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Okay. Nodding head, which we all do, she can’t record, so — okay. You have to respond. And at some point in time, you heard that — strike that. While you, Julie and Peter were living together, Peter did attend the Early Childhood Development Center, a day care center in Pittsfield; am I correct?


J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Now, why was he going there to that day care center?

DAVID HANES: That’s, an obvious answer. To be taken care of during the day. I mean, I worked.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Okay. Was Julie working at that time, if you recall?

DAVID HANES: At some points during that time, yeah.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Now, during the period of time that you were living together, how much involved were you and she with the use of drugs at that time?

DAVID HANES: It was a way of life.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Okay. You’re saying it was daily use?

DAVID HANES: As much as could be obtained, sure, yeah.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Now, what were the drugs?

DAVID HANES: Everything. Anything you could think of to write down. Nembutal, Seconal. Percodan, heroin, cocaine, Methadrine. Is that enough?

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Is that true as far as both of you were concerned?

DAVID HANES: Yeah. I was a little more, but yeah.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Where was the money coming from to get those things?

DAVID HANES: I worked steadily.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: And some of the problems, previous criminal record you described, armed robbery, for example –

DAVID HANES: Oh, no, that wasn’t involved in that. This was years before.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Okay. Now, at some point in time, while you were living together, you learned that it was being said that an employee of the day care center, specifically one Bernard Baran, had abused one or more children; am I correct?


J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: And that occurred in the fall of 1984; am I correct?

DAVID HANES: Give me a second.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Sure. Let me help you a minute if you would. A Doctor Sheeley gave a deposition a few days ago. And she talked about meeting you, Julie and Peter at the emergency room at Berkshire Medical Center.

DAVID HANES: Yeah, okay. Fall.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: And that was October 4th or 5th, 1984.


J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Okay. So does that help you?

DAVID HANES: Yeah, I would think of October more as winter. You said fall. That threw me off. Fine, sure, yeah.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Now, and at that time, you people were on the drug scene; were you not?


J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: And was Julie pregnant at that time or do you recall?

DAVID HANES: When, the day before?

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: I’m talking about the day before.

DAVID HANES: No, he had already been born, I believe. [Note: They are talking about Peter's younger brother, George. David and Peter's natural father were first cousins.]

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: When do you recall that George was born?

DAVID HANES: I honestly can’t remember. It’s kind of vague.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Okay. Now, do you — strike it. Have you talked to Julie about the case against the directors and the day care center? Not against Baran, but against the day care center.

DAVID HANES: Immediately after notifying the police, within a month, we saw Attorney Joseph Vosit on South Street, I believe, in Pittsfield.


DAVID HANES: For one meeting I was there.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: And what was the substance of that meeting? What was said and so forth if you recall?

DAVID HANES: I don’t recall. I mean, I can basically, we were talking about suing the school. That was the topic.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Sure. Now, at that time, what would you say was the average daily cost of the combined drug habits, that is combined Julie and you?

DAVID HANES: All Right. Understand that, you have to understand that I visited doctors and emergency rooms frequently so most of the stuff I got was free, so to speak. But paid for it probably be about 50 dollars a day or something like that.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: And the heroin and that sort of thing, and the coke, you weren’t getting those at emergency rooms?

DAVID HANES: Oh, no, no, no.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Now, the, while you were living with Julie, were there, was there Court proceedings at any time about the custody of Peter?

DAVID HANES: Not while we were living together.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Okay. While you were living together, were there any custody proceedings relating to George?

DAVID HANES: Not that I know of.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Okay. Now, after you stopped living together, were there any Court proceedings pertaining to the custody of Peter?


J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: After you stopped living together, was there any Court proceedings pertaining to the custody of George?


J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Okay. Would you tell us if you would about — strike it. How many such proceedings do you recall, sir?

DAVID HANES: At least two.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Would you tell us about those proceedings as best you’re able, your own words when and why and what Court and that sort of thing.

DAVID HANES: The whens I don’t know. Kind of a blur from back then but why, we didn’t think Julie was a fit mother and I wanted my son and I guess James wanted his son. I was in jail at the time so I wasn’t able to go about it and my past record prevented it and all that good stuff, but basically that’s it.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: With respect to the care and custody of children, do you recall being or Julie being, the kids being involved with any social service agent such as the Mass. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the Department of Social Services, the Department of, the Office for Children, that sort of thing?

DAVID HANES: Constantly in all of the above, yeah.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Do you remember any of the names of the people involved?

DAVID HANES: Yeah, a first name, Valerie. A Sue, but that’s the extent of it.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Okay. And does the name Johnson mean anything to you? Johnson was a foster parent?

DAVID HANES: Now, now it does because my employer employs a Johnston, and his brother’s wife I guess was one of the day care workers so he, that’s yes, it does now, but it wouldn’t have.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Now, do you remember that, whether or not Peter at any point in time was living at a foster home as opposed to living with Julie? Do you remember anything about that?

DAVID HANES: Foster home. Vaguely.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Now, let me see if I can or if you can help me identify some people. You are David Hanes.


J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Okay. Who is Douglas Hanes?

DAVID HANES: My brother.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Younger or older?


J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: What is your mother’s name?

DAVID HANES: Patricia Hanes.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: And who if you know is Grandma Mary?

DAVID HANES: I honestly don’t know. I could hazard a guess.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: What would you guess then?

DAVID HANES: The, Peter, James’s maternal great-grandmother because that’s all I can guess at. Her name was Mary. [Note: Peter's legal name is James.]

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: That would be?

DAVID HANES: Julie’s grandmother.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: What would her last name be?

DAVID HANES: Elsworth, I believe.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: All right. Okay. Well, who is Grandma Peg?

DAVID HANES: That was, I assume that would be Julie’s mother.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Okay. Okay. All Right. Who is a John Wilson? [Note: "John Wilson" is a pseudonym. Peter Hanes accused this man of sexually abusing him, and the Department of Social Services substantiated the abuse before Baran's trial began. But this information wasn't provided to Baran's lawyer. I've changed the name for Wilson's protection, since I have no way of knowing whether or not he was guilty of the alleged abuse.]

DAVID HANES: Is an acquaintance of mine and a former boyfriend of Julie’s.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Okay. Boyfriend before you or after you?

DAVID HANES: Probably both. After me.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Okay. And he was on the drug scene along with you people?


J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Now, when you were living with Julie and Peter, where were you living sir?

DAVID HANES: When I lived with them?


DAVID HANES: 21 Faulkner Place, Pittsfield.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Pittsfield. And you were, how long a period of time would you say you were living with them?

DAVID HANES: Roughly four years.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: And where were, what sort of work were you doing during that period of time, sir?

DAVID HANES: I was a maintenance man, carpenter for a Charles Flint Antiques of Lenox.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: And shortly after you learned about the allegation of abuse by Baran of children, you I guess chose to, if I may, go public; am I correct?

DAVID HANES: Yes, yes.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: And at that point in time, both you and Julie were very much involved in the use of drugs; were you not?


J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: And you have since gone through a rehab program. You’re clean now for some time. Have you ever thought about that sort of in retrospect, reflected back on that period of time, going public and all that sort of thing?

GERARD DISANTI: I’m going to object to the question.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: You may answer.

GERARD DISANTI: If he understands the question.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: If he doesn’t understand it, he won’t answer it.

DAVID HANES: I don’t need three people to tell me. He wants to know if I remember it. If I thought back about the incident? Am I correct? Do I get an A?


DAVID HANES: Okay. Yeah, sure, lots of times.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: And what observations about it now, what do you have to say about it all now?

DAVID HANES: it scares me. I don’t know. My brother’s in jail right now for rape on a child. And I know my brother didn’t do it. I don’t know if Bernie Baran did it. But I know I thought he did at the time. I think I might still think he did it. But I’m not quite sure. My conscience has bothered me a lot. Yeah, I’ve thought about it a lot.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: Okay. And let me ask you, and I’ve never talked to you about this before; have I?

DAVID HANES: Never met you before.

J. NORMAN O’CONNOR: All right. Let me ask you about it now. Do you think that when you went public that both you and Julie, that there might have been some exaggeration about the whole, you might have blown it up?

DAVID HANES: I know on my part maybe exaggeration isn’t the right word. I was getting secondhand information from Julie as to what was going on and, of course, I believed it. The time I saw Peter, James, I’ve forgotten who we’re talking about, I remember him bleeding from his penis, and I was enraged so i called the police, and Bernard, Bernie Baran’s name was the only mentioned so, of course, that’s who I accused. [Note: There is no evidence that Peter ever bled from his penis. The medical examination showed no symptoms of internal or external trauma. Julie herself later admitted under oath that she has seen no blood.]