Garrison v. Elo

156 F.Supp.2d 815 (E.D.Mich. 2001)


D pleaded guilty to one count of committing third-degree criminal sexual conduct upon a thirteen-year-old girl. D admitted engaging in penile-vaginal sexual penetration with the girl. D was eighteen years old when he and the girl had sexual intercourse. The victim testified that D was a friend. When he knocked on her bedroom window at about 5:30 a.m., she left with him. They went driving and eventually went to D's father's house, where she and D had sexual intercourse in a bedroom for about ten or fifteen minutes. The sexual contact was consensual. Before D's guilty plea was accepted, the judge informed D of all his rights D was giving up if he chose not to go to trial. D was pleading guilty to one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in exchange for dismissal of an additional third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge in another county and dismissal of a habitual offender second felony charge. D was later sentenced to three and a half to fifteen years in prison. D appealed contending his sentence was disproportionate to his crime and his criminal history and circumstances. That appeal was denied. D’s application to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court was also denied. D moved for post-conviction relief in the trial court, seeking appointment of counsel, an evidentiary hearing, and contending that his guilty plea was involuntary and unknowing and resulted from ineffective assistance of counsel. D's father and other family members, testified that they heard D's trial counsel, Laurence Long, say at a meeting attended by D and other family members, that if D pleaded not guilty and lost at both trials, he could receive a very long prison sentence, possibly life and that D would serve two or three years in prison if he pleaded guilty. The trial court concluded that D did not rely upon any such statement by his attorney, because he was told at the time of his plea that the maximum sentence that he would receive was 15 years. All appeals were denied. Among a number of grounds, D filed habeas corpus contending that his conviction of third-degree criminal sexual conduct violates the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution because he had no mens rea or scienter to commit the offense.