A Long Island attorney was convicted in D.C. Superior Court yesterday on charges of illegally arranging the adoption of a baby that was born here last October.
Edward Galison, 37, was arrested on the misdemeanor charge shortly after paying $2.000 to the grandmother of the baby after its birth last fall. Galison could be sentenced to a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $300 fine.
D.C. Superior Court Judge William C. Pryor issued the verdict in a written opinion yesterday after having heard legal arguments concerning the case.
He rejected Galison's claim that he was properly serving as a go-between in the transaction and committed no illegal act.
In his opinion. Pryor said the purpose of the statute Galison is convicted of violating is "to protect children from irresponsible or untrained intermediaries. A lawyer is within his rights so long as he gives only legal advice, appears in court and refrains from serving as an intermediary or go-between.
Pryor also said Galison's claim that he should not be prosecuted because he was serving as a New York attorney with minimal contact in the District of Columbia "was unpersuasive." In addition, Pryor also rejected claims by Galison that he was entrapped by law enforcement officials investigating an alleged baby-selling racket here.
According to evidence presented to Pryor, a 21-year-old Florida woman met with Galison while she and her mother were staying at the Shoreham Hotel here. They said they had been put in touch with the New York lawyer by a lawyer in Florida.
They said they arranged with Galison for the payment of the young woman's medical expenses, and excuted papers leading up to adoption.
More than a month later, they said, the child was born at George Washington University Hospital here. Shortly after its birth, Galison paid the woman $2,000 and took the baby, according to the testimony.
The woman had begun cooperating with law enforcement officials after deciding she wanted to keep the baby. According to affidavits filed earlier in the case, some of her telephone conversations with Galison were recorded and Galison was photographed holding the baby in his arms shortly after the money was transferred.