Lawyer, Widow Get Terms in Baby Mart

New York Post
October 31, 1950

After being denounced for "buying and selling babies for profit," Irwin Slater, Brooklyn attorney, and Mrs. Bess Bernard, 44-year-old widow, each were sentenced to a year in jail today, and assessed heavy fines.

General Sessions Judge Valente told Mrs. Bernard, who lived at 925 West End Av., that he would suspend her prison term if she paid her $2,500 fine. Slater, 33, who lived at 13 17th St., Brooklyn, was fined $1,500.

The two were accused of "illegal placement of babies and accepting compensation for such placement," acts which Valente characterized as "a nauseating and revolting practice of trading in human flesh."

"There is no doubt that you were buying and selling babies for profit," said Valente. "Humanitarian motives, if any, were a secondary consideration. A substantial gain on each deal was the primary motive."

"The state has laws to protect children, and it is particularly concerned with the care of its destitute and unwanted children."

Harry Wolfson, 37, an attorney who shared an office with Slater, was acquitted by the same jury that convicted Slater and Mrs. Bernard.


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