Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chaplin pleads not guilty to Mann Act charges, February 26th, 1944

Chaplin's attorney, Jerry Giesler, failed in two attempts to have the charges thrown out. First, he filed a demurrer to the indictment which stated that the law was intended only to prevent "commercialized vice & trafficking in women for gain" and did not apply to private acts.  Giesler also filed a motion to quash the indictments charging that the federal grand jury which indicted Chaplin was not legally constituted because the list from which it was drawn contained the names of no women. Judge J.F.T. O'Connor denied both efforts. Chaplin was then called to the bench and asked to plead guilty or not guilty. In a loud voice, Chaplin stated: "I am not guilty." Afterward the judge announced that Chaplin's trial would begin on March 21st.

Chaplin in court February 26th, 1944


Sources:
Chicago Tribune, Feb. 27, 1944
Los Angeles Times, Feb. 27, 1944


Read the complete story of Chaplin's Mann Act trial "as it happened" here.

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