Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.
August 21st, 1913
Following the introduction of the telegram Solicitor Hugh Dorsey began another attack on the character of Leo Frank and after a bitter wrangle secured the right to ask factory girls in regard to Frank’s character in his relations to women.
This was argued with the jury excused from the room and was the subject of a bitter fight, the state saying that when Frank on the stand had claimed himself to have always lived a virtuous life, he had opened up the way for the state to prove he was not of a virtuous character.
Judge Roan had already ruled that the state could not introduce witnesses said by the solicitor to be prepared to swear that Frank had made improper proposals to them and that this was about the same thing. Solicitor Dorsey argued that it was not and finally got the ruling in his favor. The defense entered a formal protest and had it go on record.
In the course of his argument, Mr. Dorsey stated that Miss Rebecca Carson, a factory forewoman, had sworn on the stand that Frank had a good character and that she had never gone anywhere with him for immoral purposes.
“Now, I propose to show,” said the solicitor, “that this woman brought here by the defense to swear to Frank’s good character, had been seen entering the women’s dressing room with him when no one else but them was in there and that she and Frank had remained in there by themselves from fifteen to twenty minutes at a time.”
“I am thus going to impeach this woman,” continued the solicitor.
Judge Roan ordered that Miss Carson might be brought in and asked the specific question if she had ever gone into the dressing room with Frank.
Character Bad, Swear Girls
In the meantime, the solicitor put up Miss Myrtis Cato, of 69 Tumlin Street, a former factory employee, and asked her in regard to Frank’s character. She replied that it was bad. When asked, under the judge’s ruling, about Frank’s character as regards lasciviousness, she replied also that it was bad.
Miss Maggie Griffin, of 34 Evans Drive, another former employee of the pencil factory, made the same statements exactly.
Neither one of the girls was asked how they knew this when the defense took them for cross-examination, about the only questions being asked them being about how long they had been at the factory and where they now lived and worked.
Dorsey then recalled Miss Rebecca Carson to the stand.
“Did you ever go in the dressing room with Leo Frank?” he asked her.
“No, sir,” she replied emphatically. “I never did.”
Miss Cato Recalled.
Miss Myrtis Cato was recalled to the stand following Miss Carson.
“Did you ever see Miss Rebecca Carson go into the dressing room with Frank?” questioned Dorsey.
“Yes,” replied the witness.
Rosser asked Miss Cato:
“When did you see Frank and Miss Carson go into the dressing room?”
“About 10 o’clock one morning and one afternoon.”
“What was the date?”
“I don’t remember exactly, but it was this year.”
Miss Maggie Griffin was next called to the stand by Dorsey.
“Do you know Rebecca Carson?” asked Dorsey.
“Do you know Leo M. Frank?”
“Did you ever see them go into the dressing room on the fourth floor together?”
“Three or four times.”
“What time of day was it?”
“In both the morning and afternoon.’”
“This was during work hours?”
“How long did they stay in the room?”
“Some times 15 minutes, and some times 30 minutes.”
Rosser objected to this testimony relative to the time they were in the room being allowed to remain in. Dorsey argued that the length of time they stayed in the room would have a very strong bearing on the possible conduct of the pair while in the room and consequently upon Frank’s character. Judge Roan ruled that in rebuttal to Miss Carson’s testimony, the time question would be irrelevant.
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