Brian Baran was just twenty years old when he entered prison for crimes he did not commit. He spent the next twenty-two years of his life trying to prove his innocence.
In 1983, as an 18-year-old, Brian was hired as a teacher’s aide at the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) in his hometown of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
When a four-year-old boy was placed in the classroom where Brian worked, the parents of the boy complained, saying they “didn’t want no homo” working with their child. When the center refused to dismiss the young man, the parents removed their child from the center.
Three days after removing their son from the center, the parents, who were both drug addicts and police informants, contacted the Pittsfield Police Department alleging their son had been molested by Brian. The following day, police began an investigation into the claims of sexual abuse, an investigation that ended with Brian being indicted on three counts of rape and five counts of indecent assault on November 5, 1984.
Brian Baran’s case went from arrest to trial in 105 days, and his trial which was closed to both the public and press, was over in a week. On January 30, 1985, Brian received three life sentences for three counts of rape of a child and five counts of indecent assault and battery.
Brian spent fourteen years in prison before a new defense team took over his case in 1999. The team had to recreate a new defense file from the civil suits filed in the past against the childhood center because the law firm that handled their client’s case had destroyed his defense case file.
The motion for a new trial for Baran contained more than three-hundred flawed items in the original trial, which included not only prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel, but the use of suggestive interviewing techniques with children, as well.
In 2006, Brian was granted a new trial and in 2009, the Massachusetts Appeals Court set aside his 1984 conviction. One month later, all charges against Brian Baran were dropped and his record was expunged.
Thanks to the perseverance and hard work of Brian’s defense team, he is now a free man. Brian’s attorneys have filed a lawsuit in civil court on his behalf for miscarriage of justice and wrongful imprisonment.
Original articles can be found here.