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Robert Griffin v. Superintendent Kirkpatrick

December 14, 2010

ROBERT GRIFFIN, PETITIONER,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT KIRKPATRICK, WENDE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Michael A. Telesca United States District Judge

DECISION AND ORDER

I. Introduction

Pro se petitioner Robert Griffin ("Petitioner") has filed a timely petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging the constitutionality of his custody pursuant to a judgment entered March 7, 2003, in New York State, County Court, Monroe County (Hon. Frank P. Geraci, Jr.), convicting him, after a jury trial, of Burglary in the Second Degree (N.Y. Penal Law ("Penal Law") § 140.25 [2]); Kidnapping in the Second Degree (Penal Law § 135.20); two counts of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree (Penal Law § 130.65 [1], [2]); three counts of Rape in the First Degree (Penal Law § 130.35 [1], [3]); Four Counts of Sodomy in the First Degree (Penal Law § 130.50 [1], [3]), Burglary in the First Degree (Penal Law § 140.30 [2]); two counts of Assault in the Second Degree (Penal Law § 120.05 [2], [6]); Robbery in the First Degree (Penal Law § 160.15 [3]); and Robbery in the Second Degree (Penal Law § 160.10 [2][a]).

For the reasons stated below, habeas relief is denied and the petition is dismissed.

II. Factual Background and Procedural History

A. Introduction

In February 2003, Petitioner was tried on an eighteen-count indictment arising out of three separate incidents occurring between July 31, 1997 and September 1, 1999. The three incidents involved three separate female victims. The police were directed to Petitioner in April of 2002, when they were notified of a DNA match between Petitioner, who was then serving a prison sentence for another matter, and the DNA recovered from the three incidents discussed above. Trial Transcript [T.T.] 597.

B. Petitioner's Crimes The Honeybunch Lane Incident - Town of Irondequoit

In his statement to police, Petitioner admitted that, on July 31, 1997, he burglarized the home of the Frederick family on Honey Bunch Lane in the Town of Irondequoit. After entering the house, Petitioner heard the family's dog bark and decided that he would leave. By his own admission, Petitioner did not want to leave empty-handed, so he took a four-year-old girl, who was sleeping at the time, from the house and left with her. Petitioner drove around with the four-year-old girl, touching her vagina from both the outside and inside of her underpants. Petitioner then parked the car while he masturbated. After he ejaculated, Petitioner placed his hand, which had semen on it, on the victim's leg. The DNA in this secretion was later found to match Petitioner's DNA. Petitioner then abandoned the victim by the side of the road, where she was found by a passerby who drove her to his place of employment and then called the police. T.T. 466-468, 472, 493. Later that night, the victim was taken to Rochester General Hospital where she was examined by Dr. Geoffrey Everett. Dr. Everett testified that "there was significant irritation and redness around the entrance to the vagina, as well as some fresh blood coming out of the vagina, and, just inside of the vaginal entrance, the hymenal ring had a tear within it with fresh blood coming from it . . . ." Dr. Everett's examination also revealed "dry flaking secretions" on the victim's right abdomen and thigh. T.T. 419-420.

Hemingway Drive Incident - Town of Brighton

In his statement to police, Petitioner admitted that, on April 10, 1999, he burglarized the home of the Lubkin family on Hemingway Drive in the Town of Brighton. By his own admission, Petitioner threw a rock through the window of the home and, upon entering, found two children inside. Petitioner took one of the children, a ten-year-old girl, into the living room where he took off her clothes and put his mouth on her vagina. Petitioner then took his penis out of his pants and instructed the ten-year-old girl to put it in her mouth, which she did. Petitioner then masturbated and ejaculated on the victim. The DNA in this secretion was later found to match Petitioner's DNA. Before leaving the home, Petitioner struck the ten-year-old girl in the head with an exercise weight he had found in the house. T.T. 458-460, 550, 554-560, 943.

LaCroix Court Incident - Town of Irondequoit

In his statement to police, Petitioner admitted that, on August 31, 1999, he raped a sixty-seven-year-old woman as she was arriving at her apartment complex shortly before midnight. By his own admission, Petitioner grabbed the sixty-seven-year-old woman from behind, choked her until she became unconscious, and then raped her. Petitioner then got up and began walking away with the victim's purse, but came after the victim a second time when she regained consciousness and tried to get away. A neighbor looking out the window yelled, causing Petitioner to jump off the victim and run away. T.T. 448-451, 977, 985-989.

C. Indictment, Trial and Sentencing

For the crimes committed at Honey Bunch Lane, Petitioner was charged with one count of Burglary in the Second Degree, one count of Kidnapping in the Second Degree, and two counts of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree. See Resp't App. H at 6-7.

For the crimes committed on Hemingway Drive, Petitioner was charged with two counts of Rape in the First Degree, three counts of Sodomy in the First Degree, two counts of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, one count of Burglary in the First Degree, one count of Assault in the Second Degree and one count of Robbery in the First Degree. Id. at 7-11.

For the crimes committed at LaCroix Court, Petitioner was charged with one count of Rape in the First Degree, one count of Robbery in the Second Degree, and one count of Assault in the Second Degree. Id. at 11-12.

A jury trial was held from February 3-13, 2000 before the Hon. Frank P. Geraci, Jr. Petitioner testified at trial in his own defense, denying his involvement in all three incidents and stating that he provided the police with neither a statement nor a saliva sample. Petitioner was convicted on all counts except the two counts of Sexual Abuse associated with the Hemingway Drive incident. Petitioner's confession admitted to these acts of sexual abuse, but the victim did not give such testimony at trial. T.T. 554-, 1010-1016, 1182-1183.

On March 7, 2003, Petitioner was sentenced to the maximum allowable prison term on each count, with sentences for each separate act to be served consecutively to ...


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