|Chaplin with his attorney Jerry Giesler.|
On February 14th, 1944, Charlie was booked and fingerprinted for violation of the Mann Act (transporting a woman across state lines for immoral purposes)1 and conspiracy to deprive Joan Barry, his former protegé, of her civil rights. Clad in a yellow sweater, white coat with purple handkerchief, and brown pants, Charlie looked nervous and annoyed and at first refused to be fingerprinted with cameramen in the room, declaring, "I'm exercising my prerogative; if I do, it's under duress."
Prints were eventually made of all ten of his fingers, a lengthy process which took twenty minutes. Afterward, he fumbled as he dipped his pen in ink to sign his arrest card.
He emerged shaken and was lead quickly to the washroom. His attorney, Jerry Giesler, following him with a gasoline-soaked towel. As Charlie removed the ink from his fingers, Giesler told reporters: "He doesn't have anything to say."
1The indictment stated that Chaplin "feloniously" transported Joan Barry to New York in October 1942 "with the intent and purpose of engaging in illicit sex relations." As Chaplin's lawyer pointed out during the trial, Joan would have willingly had sex with Charlie at any time without having to schlep her to New York to do it.
New York Times, Feb. 15th, 1944
Des Moines Register, Feb. 15th, 1944
Read the complete story of Chaplin's Mann Act trial "as it happened" here.