Attorneys rested their arguments yesterday in the most recent trial of former City Councillor William H. Walsh. But this proceeding made Walsh's previous convictions look tame by comparison.
Two rubber dildoes served as the primary pieces of evidence in the case against Walsh, who is accused of malicious destruction of personal property in excess of $250.
According to testimony before Middlesex District Judge Mark Coven and a six-member jury, Walsh, on October 5, allegedly tore two dildoes from a controversial art exhibit displayed in the Cambridge City Hall Annex. He also allegedly removed a sculpture which reads, "Show Me Yours."
Walsh has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
A verdict in the case can come as early asMonday, when jurors begin their deliberations.
Last March, Walsh was convicted on 41 counts ofbank fraud. He was forced to give up his CityCouncil seat in November after being sentenced to18 months in prison.
In her opening statement, Middlesex AssistantDistrict Attorney Alex S. Moffatt portrayed Walshas a man who "maliciously, intentionallydestroyed" artwork by the Cambridge artist HansEvers.
But James J. Rafferty, Walsh's attorney, saidin his opening statement that Walsh acted not outof malicious intent but out of the interests ofhis constituents, who objected to the exhibit's "pornographic" nature.
"There's no crime here, ladies and gentlemen, "he said. "The intent of Mr. Walsh is what thiscase is all about."
Art and Its Meaning
The prosecution opened its case by callingEvers to the stand. The Curacao-born artisttestified that he intended the work in question,titled "Critical Proportions," as a commentary on"how men are very concerned about the size oftheir penises, in general."
But Rafferty, in his cross-examination ofEvers, said the exhibit was little more than"dildoes in boxes, dildoes in plexiglass and asign on the floor that says 'Show Me Yours,'"
Evers said Walsh's removal of the two dildoescaused costly damage to the work, which is worthapproximately $1500.
"The two boxes included dildoes that wereattached with screws, " Evers said. " Obviouslythe work was no longer able to be shown. [It wasnecessary] to buy a new dildo and reconstruct thatassembly."
But Evers conceded that his exhibit opened onschedule at 5 p.m. on October 6, only a few hoursafter Walsh returned the dildoes.