The Testimony of Janie Trumpy

The Bernard Baran case began when David Hanes called the Pittsfield police on 10/05/84 to complain that Bernard Baran had abused his son. David Hanes was not Peter’s father, but rather the mother’s live in boyfriend. At different times David Hanes would claim to be not related at all or to be Peter’s father’s cousin. Baran believes that David was Peter’s father’s brother. This is the original police report in its entirety. The subject is Possible Child Abuse and the report is addressed to Chief Stankiewicz and Captain Dermody. The complainant is identified as David Hanes and the authors are identified as Collias/Danford/Beals.

Today Sgt. Henault received a call from a Mr. Hanes. That his son Peter Hanes dob 11-06-80, is a student at the EC\DC day care center. That he had come home from school yesterday with or after examination had blood on or coming out of the end of his penis. His son who will be four in November told him that Bernie did it. (Bernie is Bernard Baran of 168 First St. Pittsfield phone [blotted out].

Det’s Collias and Beals went to the center on Francis Ave today at 1:30 pm. We talked with Jane Trumby phone [blotted out]. She is the assistant director.

We were told that as mandated by state law. No child is alnoe [sic] with a worker. That Baran is an assistant aid with Pat Colder being the teacher in this class. And as far as could be determined Baran has a good work record.

Ms. Trumby in checking her file, found that about the beginning of the school a complaint was made through the EC DC Sue Eastland, from Mr. Hanes complaining that Bernard Baran was a homosexual and objecting that he be allowed to work in child care. At the time we had not told the Trumby woman who the youth involved was.

We also found that the last time Peter Hanes was in Day Care was Monday Oct. 1, 1984. He was abscent [sic] on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

We left the Day Care Center at 2:08 pm. Another staff worker was to be in the room with Baran for the protection of the children just in case there is something to this complaint.

Jerry Downing called and said he will be working on this case with the DA’s Office. He will be at this phone number [blotted out]. Also Lee Flournoy will be on call.

During the trial, Conway [Baran's attorney] cross-examined Jane Trumpy, who had assumed the post of Executive Director on 9/13/84, just a few weeks before Baran was arrested. Here is that testimony:

MR. CONWAY: Regarding his [Baran's] file, is there any indication in his file that there was a complaint from one of the Hanes boy’s parents regarding Mr. Baran?

MR. FORD: I’d object.

THE COURT: Well, just, yes or no.

JANIE TRUMPY: Not to my knowledge. I’ve never seen it.

MR. CONWAY: Would you have a separate file or two files on Peter Hanes?


MR. CONWAY: Would you look at that file, please, or both of them. Do you have any indication whether or not Peter Hanes was, at sometime, terminated from the school?

JANIE TRUMPY: The only time that I seem to be able to reconstruct that he was not there was in the summer of 1982 when he stayed at home.

MR. CONWAY: There are no other times in the file?

JANIE TRUMPY: Not that I could find.

MR. CONWAY: Did you find in the Hanes boy’s file a complaint regarding Mr. Baran?

THE COURT: Yes or no.

JANIE TRUMPY: Have I to date found it?

MR. CONWAY: You have not found any such complaint?


MR. CONWAY: Do you remember relaying that information to the police that there was, in fact, a complaint about Bernie Baran?

JANIE TRUMPY: Did I tell the police that there was a complaint about Bernie Baran? Yes, I did.

MR. CONWAY: At the beginning of the school year — why don’t I rephrase it. I’m sorry. Did you tell the police there was a complaint by Mr. Hanes regarding Bernie Baran at the beginning of the school year?

MR. FORD: I object.

THE COURT: No, you may have it, yes or no. Do you understand the question?

JANIE TRUMPY: Yes, I understand the question. No.

MR. CONWAY: If I may have a moment, your Honor?


(Pause in proceedings)

MR. CONWAY: Do you recall the name Sue Eastman at all?


MR. CONWAY: Do you recall speaking with a Detective Kiley, Detective Beals and Dan Ford [sic]?


MR. CONWAY: Do you recall talking to them about the 5th of October?


MR. CONWAY: And you have no recollection of relaying to them a complaint by Mr. Hanes against Mr. Baran, something that perhaps went through a Sue Eastman of the school or DSS?

JANIE TRUMPY: I remember the complaint. I do not recall naming the person who made the complaint because I did not know the name of the person who made the complaint.

MR. CONWAY: You do recall the complaint?

JANIE TRUMPY: I do recall the complaint.

MR. CONWAY: Where do you recall the complaint coming from?

JANIE TRUMPY: From my administrative staff.

MR. CONWAY: That, you say, was not in your file?


MR. CONWAY: Do you recall Sue Eastman now as to who she is?

JANIE TRUMPY: I could guess, I don’t recall the name.

MR. CONWAY: You don’t recall the name, all right. Do you recall — since you do recall the complaint — when was the complaint made to the best of your recollection?

JANIE TRUMPY: During the Summer of 1984.

MR. CONWAY: During the Summer of 1984? Not in October?


MR. CONWAY: Do you remember which member of your staff relayed the complaint to you?


MR. CONWAY: Who would that be?

JANIE TRUMPY: Lynn Witter (Phonetic).

MR. CONWAY: Is Lynn Witter still on the staff of your school?

JANIE TRUMPY: Yes, she is.

MR. CONWAY: W-i-t-t-e-r?

JANIE TRUMPY: W-i-t-t-e-r.

MR. CONWAY: To your knowledge did Miss Witter have a written report of that complaint?


At this point, Conway pursues a different line of questioning.

The discrepancies between the police report and Trumpy’s testimony are extremely troubling. On 1/5/84, she found on file David Hanes’s complaint at the beginning of the school term about Baran’s homosexuality. Since Baran’s name was not given to Trumpy, the complaint was presumably in Peter’s file. Yet at trial Trumpy claims that the complaint is now in neither file and that she has never found such a complaint. On 10/5/84 she volunteers the name Sue Eastland [probably Eastman, but the detective heard Eastland over the phone]. At trial, she claims to have never heard of Sue Eastman. She says that she told the police there’d been a complaint about Baran, that there had been no complaint about Baran around the time she’d originally claimed according to the police report, and that there had been a complaint about Baran during the summer. On 10/5/84 she identifies Mr. Hanes as the person making the complaint. At trial she claims no knowledge of who might have made the complaint. She claims that the complaint was relayed to her by Lynn Witter and that it never existed in writing. Conway was not able to establish that the nature of the complaint, made well before 10/5/84, was that David Hanes considered Bernard Baran a threat to small children simply because he was a homosexual.

It is very easy to show that the other five children were subjected to suggestive, coercive, and repetitive questioning. Indeed, they were subjected to this kind of questioning by Dan Ford at trial. Ford even used anatomically correct dolls at trial. Thus it is critical to understand where the original complaint came from.

From the police report it is clear that David Hanes considered Bernard Baran a sexually dangerous person and a threat to children (because of his sexual orientation) long before Peter’s “spontaneous” accusation of abuse on 10/4/84. But thanks to Janie Trumpy, this information was successfully kept from the jury.

The teachers who actually worked with Bernard Baran liked him and supported him in their testimony at the trial. Trumpy is quite a different story. She appears to have really hated Baran, perhaps because she sincerely believed he was guilty. According to the Berkshire Eagle, when the jury was taken to visit ECDC, Trumpy refused to allow Baran even to enter the building. That must have made an interesting impression on the jury. And when Baran was convicted, Trumpy joined the DA in a press conference where she said that entire staff and board of ECDEC believed that justice had been done.