FRESNO, Calif. --
A former Madera County Supervisor arrived to court in an ambulance Tuesday for his arraignment on child molestation charges. 82 year old Harry Baker was wearing a mask and in a wheelchair as he appeared in court for the first time since his arrest. His arraignment has been postponed twice because of his health. "He was in the hospital last week and he's out now. And we felt this would be a good time to try and get him to court," said defense attorney Rick Berman.Baker is accused of molesting a 13 year old girl in a Fresno motel room back in 2007. Berman has said his client was blackmailed by a group of money hungry gypsies who captured the alleged incident on camera and who have already been paid more than $200,000.
Baker has recently undergone throat surgery and Berman says for the most part, he is now unable to speak. In court Tuesday, Baker nodded his head to answer to the charges. Baker's breathing machine seemed to drown out the judge at some points and the power was turned off several times in order for him to hear the judge. Berman said the equipment made getting baker to court difficult. "We had to get an ambulance with AC currents so we can plug the breathing machine in. But we did it," said Berman.
Baker will be able to skip some routine court proceedings after signing a waiver Tuesday allowing Berman to appear on his behalf. His next court appearance is scheduled for January 6, 2010.