People v. Walter Bennett, Appeal: Testimony of George Caldwell, alias George Galbert

People v. Walter Bennett, appeal

GEORGE GALBERT, a witness called on behalf of the defense, being duly sworn, testified as follows:

Direct-examination by Mr. Greenthal:

Mr. Greenthal: What is your name?

George Caldwell: George Caldwell

The Court: What is that? What is your name?

George Caldwell: George Caldwell

Mr. Greenthal: And, at the time of your arrest, you gave the name of George Galbert?

George Caldwell: Yes, sir. I live at 105 East 82d street. I am employed by Carrere & Hastings, 28 East 41st street, architects. I have been employed by that firm three years and four or five months. My occupation with that firm is draughtsman; and I write specifications. I remember the 21st day of February, 1903. I remember being at the Ariston Baths on that evening. I got there some time between half past nine and ten.

When I got to the bath, I asked for a room, and was assigned to Room 20. I went in, took off my clothes. After the - after I had undressed and been given a sheet to wrap around me, I started out of my room, in the wrong direction, away from the room where the baths are.

I turned back and went out in the other direction into the baths and took my bath and was scrubbed.

I went back to my room to lay down for awhile, I suppose, for fully three quarters of an hour or half an hour, and it was pretty hot there, without any ventilation, and I got to the room again, in the opposite direction to the room which was curtained off and opened the - pulled back the portieres, and started in to see - and saw that the couches that were there were all occupied; turned around and went into the other part of the building.

And on my way there, through the building, I met a man, who I afterwards understand is Officer Phelan. He was trying to weigh himself, standing on a pair of scales and the bar of the scale threw a reflection on the weight, and he couldn't see it, and I asked him if he had any trouble in seeing it, and I weight him.

And I then went into the other portion of the building still looking for a couch that was cooler and found that they were all occupied, and went back to my room, and went to sleep, and was asleep in there when I was awakened by a violent pulling and slamming at the door.

And I asked what was the matter, and I was answered in all kinds of language, "You come out of here and you will see what is the matter."

And I was naturally a little angry, and I said. "Who are you talking to," with some profanity in it. And they said, "Come out and you will see," and I turned the key and went out. I don't know the man's name, he is an officer at the 57th Street Station. I saw him in Court there. No, at the 34th Street Station. I saw him in Court there. I do not recognize the officer in Court now. He was a tall man with broad shoulders and a gray moustache, black and gray moustache. I did not at any time enter that northwesterly room, to lie on the couch.

G Did you at any time insert your penis into the anus of Mr. Bennett?

George Caldwell: No, sir.

Mr. Greenthal: Did you at any time take his penis and put it in your mouth?

George Caldwell: No, sir.

Mr. Greenthal: When, for the first time, did you see Bennett?

George Caldwell: The first time I remember of seeing Bennett is Sunday, the Sunday after we were taken from the 47th Street Station up to the 53d Street Station.

Mr. Greenthal: Had you ever been at that bath prior to that time?

George Caldwell: No, sir.

Mr. Greenthal: Well, what was said or done when you came out?

George Caldwell: Well, this man that was standing across the row of benches that is down the middle of the room said, "Oh, here comes the indignant lady," and I started to go across the couch and somebody behind me - I don't know who - said "Don't make a racket."

The Court: No. Do not state what was said if you do not know who said it.

George Caldwell: Well, he simply said that he place been raided.

The Court: No. Do not state what any person said when you do not know who the person was, or rather, what person it was.

Cross-examination by Mr. Ely:

George Caldwell: I resided at 105 East 82d street. I did not reside at 187 West 84th street. I never resided there. That is the address I gave when I was arrested, in the Police Court. I gave the name of George Galbert. My name is George Caldwell. I am indicted for sodomy myself, in connection with these acts, that are alleged to have gone on, on the 21st of February, at the Ariston Baths. I had never been to the Ariston Baths prior to the 21st of February. I had never been there before. It is not a fact that I had been there quite regularly, for a year before the 21st. I am perfectly positive of that. I am perfectly sure that I never saw this defendant at the Aritston Baths in my life, perfectly positive of it. I have never been there before. I saw some people there, when I was there, on the 21st; why certainly. I saw Officer Phelan there, for example. I did not see Fitzsimmons there. I saw this other officer, who, I say, came to my room. I did observe the people who were in the baths at the time that I was there, yes, sir. When I go to a Turkish bath, I do observe who is there.

Mr. Ely: How did you happen to go to the Ariston Baths on the 21st day of February, 1903?

George Caldwell: I had been to the exhibition of the Architectural League, at the Fine Arts Building, in 57th street and Broadway. I went around the building for about an hour, looking at the exhibits, and started down Broadway. I got there between half past nine and ten. I am sure that I was never there before, perfectly positive, sir.

Mr. Greenthal: The defendant rests.

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