State of NH v William Baer – Case Dismissed


by William Baer, ©2014

An opinion rendered by New Hampshire’s Fourth Circuit Court states that William Baer did not commit breach of peace when he objected to graphic, adult reading material assigned to his daughter by Gilford High School

(Dec. 19, 2014) — Since my arrest this past May, my life and the lives of my family have been in disarray. After 7-1/2 months of being pursued by the State of New Hampshire, through the Gilford Police Department and School Board, I am obviously pleased that all charges have been dismissed. Belknap County Judge James Carroll showed me there still is some justice in our system.

Make no mistake, these three criminal charges against me were not “dropped” by Gilford Police Chief Bean-Burpee and his prosecutor Sergeant Eric Bredbury, they were dismissed by a New Hampshire Circuit Court Judge after a full hearing. In spite of having months to review the law and the facts, the Prosecutor refused to drop the charges or even propose a plea, but rather continued to seek a conviction to justify the State’s violation of my First Amendment right of free speech, and my unlawful arrest.

I was fortunate enough to be experienced in the legal system, and also had the determined, talented, and effective counsel of Mark Sisti and Jared Bedrick of Sisti Law Offices. But what about those who have none of these advantages? One of the most troubling aspects of this experience is having to face the fact that, out of the millions of people arrested every year in the United States, many are unlawfully arrested, maliciously prosecuted, wrongfully convicted, or pressured to plead guilty just to get it over with.

Having a jury of one’s peers is supposed to be a check on this system, but NH law precludes a jury trial for a defendant if he is not facing possible incarceration.

And what about the incident that gave rise to all this? That is, Gilford High School requiring my 9th grade daughter to read material that is unfit to print in virtually any newspaper in the country? If someone were handing out this material right in front of the classroom in which students were reading the text, he would most likely be arrested, prosecuted, and convicted for distribution of pornographic material to a minor. What about a school system which cannot insure that proper notice be given to parents of a child mandated to read such material due to the school’s “oversight?” What would you think if you found out that last year, when the book was also required reading, the school administration and teacher made the same “mistake” and also failed to provide notice? What about the chilling effect on First Amendment guaranteed speech that these arrests and prosecutions have on our society regardless of the outcome? How many people will avoid speaking publicly knowing they can easily receive the same treatment I did, and likely worse?

Gilford School Board Meeting 5/4/14
Hearing on Motion to Dismiss, 11/10/14

One Response to "State of NH v William Baer – Case Dismissed"

  1. Stephen Hiller   Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 6:56 AM

    The parents no longer “own” the child – Hillary’s village owns them … from cradle to grave.


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