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Chuck Berry 1960

Chuck Berry charged in transporting of girl

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

January 1960

A warrant charging Charles (Chuck) Berry, rock and roll singer, with transporting a 14-year-old Indian girl from El Paso, Texas, to St. Louis for immoral purposes was issued yesterday by United States Commissioner Irvin H. Gamble.

The girl, whose home is in Arizona, told Assistant United States Attorney Frederick H. Mayer that she and Berry left El Paso December 1 and arrived here about December 10, 1959. She said she lived at the home of Berry's secretary and worked briefly as a hat check attendant at Berry's tavern, 814 North Grand boulevard. She was turned over to juvenile authorities.

Berry, 30, admitted to detectives and Mayer that he brought the girl to St. Louis. He has a number of popular recordings and appeared in nights club throughout the country. His bond was set at $5000.


"Chuck" Berry is indicted on two felony charges

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

January 26 / 1960

Charles E. (Chuck) Berry, rock'n'roll singer and guitarplayer, was indicted by the federal grand jury yesterday on teo felony charges.

The first indictment, reported to District Judge Roy W. Harper, charged the singer with transporting a woman across the state lines for immoral purposes.

There are two counts in the indictment. In the second indictment Berry is Charged with transporting an automatic pistol interstate. Persons who have been convicted of crimes of violence are prohibited from chipping or carrying firearms across state lines.The indictment stated that Berry was convicted of first-degree robbery in Boone county 1944.

Berry, who operates a tavern at 813 North Grand boulevard, has stated he lives at 3137 Whittier street.


Chuck Berry convicted of Mann Act violation

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Mars 6 / 1960

Charles E. (Chuck) Berry, rock'n'roll singer, was convicted by a jury in United States District Court late Friday, Mars 4, of transporting a 14-year-old Indian girl from El Paso, Texas, to St. Louis for immoral purposes.

Judge George H. Moore deferred sentencing until March 18 and declined to allow bond for Berry. The singer faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $5000 fine for violation of the Mann Act. The Girls home is in Arizona.

She told Assistant United States Attorney Frederick H. Mayer thet she and Berry left El Paso on December 1 and arrived in St. Louis December 10. Berry is a former convict. Mayer said investigation showed his income had been as high as $115,000 a year.


Chuck Berry gets five years and $5000 fine

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Mars 12 / 1960

Charles E. (Chuck) Berry, a rock and roll singer and guitarist, was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $5000 Yesterday by United States District Judge Georg H Moore.

Berry was convicted in Judge Moore's court here Mars 4 of transporting a 14-year-old Indian Girl from El Paso, Texas, to St. Louis for Immoral purposes. Berry, a former convict, operates a tavern at 813 North Grand boulevard.


C.E. (Chuck) Berry again convicted in Mann Act case

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Mars 16 / 1961

Charles E. (Chuck) Berry, rock'n'roll singer and former night club owner here, was found guilty in United States District Court yesterday of violating the Mann Act by transporting a 14-year-old Indian girl from El Paso, Texas, to St. Louis for immoral purposes.

The Two-day trial in the court of Judge Roy W. Harper was the second for Berry in the same charge. He previously was sentenced to serve fiwe Years in prison and was fined $5000 on the charge, but the United States Court of Appeals remaned that sentence after finding that Judge George H. Moore had intended to disparage the defendant by repeated questions about race in the jury trail. Berry is a negro.

Berry denied before a jury of 12 men that he had immoral relations with the girl in the 1959 trip. He said he had brought the girl to St. Louis to give her a job as hat check girl in his nightclub. The girl, however, testhified that Berry had been intimate with her in each of four states.


Pick of the Week

The Cash Box

May 14 / 1960

Chuck Berry

Bye, Bye Johnny (Arc, BMI) Chess 1754

Worried Life Blues (Arc, BMI) Chess 1754

Looks like Chuck Berry's gonna get back in the big hit groove with his newest rock-delighter, "Bye, Bye Johnny". It's pile-driving sequel to "Johnny B. Goode" (who on this deck heads out to Holliwood to star in films). The kids'll love it. Backings a slow, rhythmic blues that Chuck wails with down home authority.


Chuck Berry acquitted in case involving woman

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

June 2 / 1960

Charles E. (Chuck) Berry, rock and roll singer and former night club owner, was acquitted last night of a charge of illegaly transporting woman across state lines for immoral purposes. A Jury in the court of United States Judge Randolph Weber returned the verdict after dileberating about six hours.

The indictment in two counts, charged that Berry transported a 18-year-old woman from St. Louis to Toledo and St. Louis to Omaha in 1958. He denied an intent to violate the law, testifying he and the young woman were in love.

Last March Berry was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $5000 by Junited States District Judge George H. Moore after he was found guilty by a jury of transporting a 14-year-old Indian girl from El Paso, Texas to St. Louis for immoral purposes. He has filed notice of appeal of the conviction. Berry served a sentence for armed robbery in 1944.


Chuck Berry acquitted of U.S. firearms charge

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Aug 17 / 1960

Charles E. (Chuck) Berry, rock'n'roll singer, was acquitted by United States District Judge Randolph Weber yesterday of a charge of transporting a firearm across a state line following conviction of a crime of violence. A jury had found him guilty.

Judge Weber held that a recent ruling of the Supreme Court was applicable in this case. The judge decided on illegal search and seizure, though not by federal officers.

The Suprime Court held that no federal convictions could be based on such evidence.


Appeals court remands case over questions by judge Moore

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

October 28 1960

A decision in the court of United State District Judge George H. More was vacated today by the United States Court of Appeals, with found that Judge More had intended to disparage the defendant by repeated questions about race during the trial.

The Case is that of Charles E. (Chuck) Berry, a negro orchestra leader and night club operator, who was sentenced to serve five years in prison and was fined $5000 in March on a charge of transporting a 14-year-old Indian girl from Texas to St. Louis for immoral purposes.

The Court of Appeals said that Berry's treatment of the girl, a prostitute, "was inexcusable", but it also found that he had not been given a fair trail. The appellate court said Judge Moore's cunduct "was intended or calculated to disparage the defendant in the eyes of the jury, and to prevent the jury from excercising an impartial judgment upon the merits".

The Case was returned to district court for a new trial before a judge to be designated by Cheif Judge Roy W. Harper. The appellate-court opinion did not repeat the prejudicial guestions by Judge More, saying that "when viewed in isolation, they probably would not rise to the dignity of reversible error". It added, however, that when considered as a whole, the trail was unfair.

One instance cited in defendant's appeal breif was the following: "The court: By Mr. Berry. do You mean this Negro, the defendant?". The witness: Yes, Mr Berry".

The opinion was by Judges John B. Sanborn, Joseph W. Woodrough and Marion C. Mattes. It said: "In fairness to the trail judge it should be said that much occurred to try his patience. The record shows that he had difficulty in hearing witnesses, that he apparently was in physical discomfort much of the time, that the trail dragged, that he was unable to se eye to eye with consel in their conduct of the trial, that there was convincing evidence that Berry's treatment of the girl named in the indictment, who was a 14-year-old Apache Indian who had become a prostitute, was in inexcusable, and that his testimony about his intention in transporting her in his automobile from El Paso to St. Louis, being to make an honest woman of her, had it's irrating aspects".

The openion said further: "It seems safe to say that ordinarily a trail judge who in the presence of the jury makes remarks reflecting upon a defendant's race, or from which an implictiaon can be drawn that racial comsiderations may have some bearing upon the issue of guilt or innocence, has rendered that trial unfair".

The case was Berry's third in federal court in recent mounths. A jury found him guilty of a white slawe charge, and another case, in with he was accused of taking a firearm across a state line, was dismissed. It was dissmissed because the court suppressed evidence the prosecution regarded as essential to prove it's case.

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