A jury in Middlesex County Superior Court yesterday acquitted 19 persons charged with trespassing during last April's occupation of University Hall.
After the verdict, Justice Robert Sullivan, who presided over the three-day trial, indicated that he would not allow the Commonwealth to continue the prosecution of more than 100 other cases arising from the demonstration.
The 19 persons acquitted-fifteen Harvard students, one M.I.T. graduate student, and three non-students-were among 172 persons arrested for trespass in University Hall April 10 and convicted in Cambridge Third District Court last May.
After the jury's decision, Justice Sullivan ordered defense lawyers to bring the other 105 persons still appealing trespass convictions to court today, or at the-earliest opportunity, so that he could consider continuing their cases without a finding-a move that would probably result in the dismissal of the charges.
The Commonwealth's indictment charged the 19 persons with remaining in University Hall after an officer of the University-Fred L. Glimp '50-told them they had five minutes to leave.
Glimp, who was then Dean of the College, and Dean Watson testified Tuesday that they intended that demonstrators be allowed to leave the building during the five minutes following Glimp's warning. Two student reporters, however, told the court that they saw police inside University Hall making arrests only two or three minutes after Glimp spoke.
Defense lawyer John G. S. Flym argued that the protestors could not be considered trespassers until the warning time expired.
Flym and his law partner, Norman S. Zalkind, also argued that the Commonwealth had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any of the defendants were actually inside University Hall at the time of the arrests.
In Cambridge District Court Wednesday, Judge Edward M. Viola postponed the trial of Eric M. Mann, Henry A. Olson, and Philip C. Nies until November 26.
The three men face charges arising from their alleged participation in the invasion of the Center for International Affairs on September 25.