United States District Court, N.D. New York
DARREN T. VANDEUSEN, Petitioner,
CHRIS MILLER, Superintendent, Great Meadow Correctional Facility, Respondent.
OFFICE OF MARK A. MYERS Attorneys for Petitioner
OF THE NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL Attorneys for
A. MYERS, ESQ.
E. FLEISCHMANN, AAG
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. Senior United States District Judge
Darren T. VanDeusen filed a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. See Dkt.
No. 1, Petition; Dkt. No. 1-1 and 1-2, Copies of State Court
Papers, Parts 1 and 2 ("Petitioner's State Court
challenges a 2013 judgment of conviction after a jury trial
in Otsego County Court of Criminal Sexual Act in the First
Degree. See Petition at 1. Petitioner's
conviction stems from his sexual violation of a 10-year-old
child. As a result of this conviction, the court sentenced
Petitioner to a prison term of 20 years, followed by 15 years
of post-release supervision. See id.; see also People v.
VanDeusen, 129 A.D.3d 1325 (3d Dep't 2015).
raises two grounds for habeas relief: (1) he was denied
effective assistance of trial counsel "due to [the]
failure of trial counsel to investigate an alibi defense and
file an alibi notice" (Ground One), and (2) his counsel
was ineffective for failing to "familiarize himself with
Y STR DNA evidence" (Ground Two). See Petition
at 5-7. Respondent opposes the petition. See Dkt.
No. 8, Answer; Dkt. No. 8-1, Respondent's Memorandum of
Law ("Respondent's Memorandum"); Dkt. Nos. 10,
10-1 and 10-2, State Court Records ("Respondent's
State Court Records").
reasons that follow, the Court denies and dismisses the
April 20, 2012, an Otsego County Ground Jury indicted
Petitioner for the crime of Criminal Sexual Abuse in the
First Degree (Penal Law § 130.50). See
Respondent's State Court Records at 295. The indictment
was based on Petitioner's actions during the early
morning of December 13, 2011.
time of the incident, Petitioner was 18 years old and had
been dating the victim's older sister for more than two
years. See Id. at 699-701, 728. During the morning
hours of December 13, 2011, Petitioner, who was spending the
night at the victim's house with his girlfriend, woke the
10- year-old in her bedroom and told her to follow him into
the bathroom. Once in the bathroom, Petitioner locked the
door and told the young girl to pull her pants down.
Petitioner then held his hand over her mouth and had her
kneel on the floor over the toilet seat. He then proceeded to
penetrate the victim anally with his penis. After Petitioner
was finished, he told the victim that if she told anyone
about the attack, he would go to jail and she would go to
"juvenile, " which scared the victim. Petitioner
then cleaned himself off with a rag and put it in the
laundry. The victim cleaned herself with a paper towel and
threw it away in the garbage. She then dressed and went to
bed. See Respondent's State Court Records at
following day, the victim's brother found a condom
wrapper in his older sister's bedroom and told his
mother. The mother confronted Petitioner and her eldest
daughter, who admitted they were having anal sex. See
Id. at 729-730.
that day, the mother also spoke to her 10-year-old daughter
because she was concerned about how close she and Petitioner
had become. When her daughter came home from school, her
mother asked if Petitioner ever touched her inappropriately.
The victim "froze" and then began crying saying,
"no, mommy, no." She then told her mother about the
previous evening. See Id. at 731-735. Her mother
immediately took her to the hospital, where a certified
sexual assault nurse and a pediatrician examined the victim.
See Id. at 735. Two small bruise marks were observed
at the 11:00 and 1:00 positions on the victim's anus, and
a 2 millimeter abrasion was also found below her anus.
According to the nurse and pediatrician, it appeared that the
three wounds were inflicted at the same time and were
consistent with the victim's account of sodomy. See
Id. at 752-756.
police investigator, Jeffrey Moore, was also called to speak
with the victim at the hospital. After the victim recounted
the events, Investigator Moore obtained buccal swabs from
Petitioner, the victim and the victim's two brothers.
See Id. at 792-798.
forensic scientist, Allyson Goble, then obtained DNA profiles
from the buccal swabs obtained from Petitioner and the
victim. The DNA profile from the victim's buccal swab
matched the DNA profile developed from the victim's
perianal and anal swabs. In addition, Ms. Goble also found
male DNA on the anal swabs obtained from the victim. As a
result, Ms. Goble performed Y-STR (short tandem repeats) DNA
testing, which only tests the "Y" strand, or the
male chromosome, of the DNA. Ms. Goble then extracted
Petitioner's Y-STR DNA from his buccal swab and compared
his profile to the male DNA profile obtained from the
victim's anal swabs. She opined that the Y-STR DNA
profile from the anal swabs matched the Y-STR DNA profile
from Petitioner. According to Ms. Goble, this meant that
Petitioner and his biological paternal relatives could not be
excluded as a donor to the male DNA found on the anal swabs.
Ms. Goble stated that this Y-STR DNA profile occurs at a
frequency of about 1 in every 2, 857 individuals within the
world population. See Id. at 822-850.
November 16, 2012, a jury found Petitioner guilty of
first-degree criminal sexual assault. See
Respondent's State Court Records at 929. The state court
subsequently sentenced Petitioner on January 7, 2013, to a
determinate term of 20 years ...