By Martin Gottesfeld
My name is Martin “MartyG” Gottesfeld. I am the next (and final) alleged hacktivist charged by then-U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz after the death of Aaron Swartz. For more information about Swartz you can watch his biography, “The Internet’s Own Boy,” on YouTube and learn more about me and the young girl I was defending by checking out this article in Rolling Stone, or this article by columnist Michelle Malkin. More information is available at FreeMartyG.com.
While I’ve known for a while that the federal judge who has been presiding over my docket, Nathaniel M. Gorton, also handled the case against Aaron Swartz, some other important information about Judge Gorton’s background was recently brought to my attention for the first time.
To begin, it is important to note that the two supposed, alleged “victims” in my case are Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) and its apparent partner organization, the Wayside Youth and Family Support Network. I should also note that while Rolling Stone, Huffington Post and it appears even the FBI (under cross examination) say that nothing I did endangered patients, Carmen Ortiz’s former office, which compared Aaron Swartz to a rapist, claims – without ever citing any actual proof – that somehow I did. Ortiz’s former office also claims that the girl I was defending was not being tortured, while the girl herself (Justina Pelletier) and her family as well as a former federal prosecutor and a former BCH nurse indicate otherwise. But I digress.
Returning to Judge Gorton, according to his 2012 financial disclosure, he had a relationship with The Home for Little Wanderers, which is a 501(c)3 that listed Gorton as a member of its board of advisers. This is interesting because BCH apparently gave The Home for Little Wanderers $50,000 in September 2015, which was approximately five months before I was arrested and also around the time Judge Gorton publicly donated to The Home as well. Prior to that, in 2003, The Home for Little Wanderers announced that BCH had become a partner organization in one of its efforts to divert juvenile psychiatric patients (as Justina was) from inpatient environments (such as the psych ward where Justina was held).
However, that’s just the beginning of the interesting connections at play here.
It also turns out that the magistrate judge who issued the search warrant for my home, Marianne B. Bowler, used to work as a research assistant at Harvard Medical School and is married to Dr. Marc Pfeffer, who is a professor at Harvard Medical School as well as a paid practitioner at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston (see Magistrate Bowler’s official U.S. court biography here as well as her CV here). This is important because BCH is Harvard Medical School’s primary pediatric research and teaching affiliate. And yet Magistrate Bowler did not recuse herself when Ortiz’s office specifically alleged (in paragraph 8 of the search warrant affidavit) that there had been a disruption to the network Harvard-affiliated hospitals used to communicate with each other. Although the affidavit doesn’t explicitly say so, it seems obvious that includes the Harvard-affiliated hospital from which Magistrate Bowler’s husband – with whom she would be entitled to file a joint income tax return – draws a paycheck.
But what does that have to do with Judge Gorton?
Well, according to Magistrate Bowler’s CV as well as other information, she is also an emeritus director of a nonprofit called The Boston Foundation (TBF). And TBF runs a website that raises money for both Judge Gorton’s Home for Little Wanderers (see here) and BCH’s apparent partner, the Wayside Youth and Family Support Network (see here). Further, the latter of those two was explicitly mentioned by name in the search warrant application Magistrate Bowler approved.
Moreover, TBF has publicly donated to The Home for Little Wanderers, including this donation for $30,000 dating to 2008. TBF also donates to Boston Children’s Hospital and in 2014, one of the years in which Justina was being detained against her will based on the all but certainly incorrect BCH psychiatry diagnosis, The Boston Foundation donated no less than $182,950 to BCH, according to the foundation’s 2014 tax documents.
Maybe all of this explains why the date on the front of the search warrant application for my home is one day later than the date on the warrant Magistrate Bowler apparently approved (see here and here).
And now Judge Gorton hasn’t recused himself from my case. Instead he ruled that it was appropriate for Magistrate Bowler to remain on my case and to issue the above search warrant for my home, even after the date discrepancy and other important issues were pointed out. Further, when we asked for an evidentiary hearing to probe these connections in more depth, Judge Gorton denied the request thereby preventing Bowler, her husband, or The Boston Foundation from having to explain their relationships. Judge Gorton may have also been protecting more than Bowler. According to this affidavit, it was Boston’s federal courthouse itself which appointed Bowler to the board of The Boston Foundation, from where she oversaw donations to organizations related to multiple federal judges in the city. However, Gorton has ruled that I will not be allowed to tell my jury about the torture Justina and her family reports she endured and that no one who wears a shirt bearing a picture of Aaron Swartz, or it seems Justina’s image as well, will be allowed into the courtroom during my “trial.”
Ironically, perhaps, Magistrate Bowler did an excellent job summarizing the relevant law on the recusal of judges and her decision to remove herself from another BCH case just 10 days before she issued a ruling on my docket to deny me temporary bail to eulogize my recently deceased father. So, I’ll end by linking to her order of recusal from that other case and by asking whether a “reasonable member of the public, ‘fully informed of all the relevant facts, would fairly question the trial judge’s impartiality.'”
Note: Gottesfeld’s trial began Monday, July 23, in Boston’s federal Moakley Courthouse.