Campbell v. Poole

Decision Date30 May 2008
Docket NumberNo. 04-CV-626(VEB).,04-CV-626(VEB).
Citation555 F.Supp.2d 345
PartiesShannon CAMPBELL, Petitioner, v. T. POOLE, Supt., Five Points Correctional Facility, Respondent.
CourtU.S. District Court — Western District of New York

Shannon V. Campbell, Romulus, NY, for pro se.

Steven Meyer, Buffalo, NY, for Respondent.

DECISION AND ORDER

VICTOR E. BIANCHINI, United States Magistrate Judge.

I. Introduction

Shannon Campbell ("Campbell" or "petitioner") has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging his conviction following a jury trial in New York State County Court (Erie County) on sexual abuse charges. Campbell is currently incarcerated pursuant to this judgment of conviction. The parties have consented to disposition of this matter by a magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1).

II. Factual Background and Procedural History
A. Summary

The convictions here at issue were based on Campbell's having sexually abused three young female victims—his daughter and two of his nieces. Campbell lived with his mother, Esther Campbell ("Mrs. Campbell"). Mrs. Campbell had a daughter, Esther Battiese, who had two daughters, Alicia Penn and Esther Penn. Alicia Penn's children included two of the victims in this case, Shakia and Shamika. Campbell also had seven children of his own, two of which were involved either directly or peripherally in this case. His daughter, Shanna, was the other victim. Shanna's older brother, Chezere, was the first person to whom Shanna and Shakia revealed the abuse. At the time of the incidents, Shanna and Shamika were eight years-old, and Shakia was six. Campbell was accused of raping and sodomizing his daughter, Shanna, and his niece, Shamika. He was alleged to have raped his six-year-old niece Shakia. Campbell was interviewed by the police on two occasions-April 14, 1999, and April 27, 1999. He consistently denied any criminal wrongdoing. T.181-82.1 He was arrested on April 14th based on the complaints filed by Shanna and Shamika. T.183.

Campbell was offered the opportunity to plead guilty to a reduced indictment with a sentence promise of fourteen (14) years determinate; the offer was to remain available only up and until the first complainant took the stand to testify. Prior to commencement of the prosecution's case, trial counsel placed on the record that he had discussed the plea offer with his client and had advised him that if he choose to proceed to trial and was convicted, the judge had authority to impose consecutive sentences such that his potential sentence exposure was seventy-five (75) years. Trial counsel informed the court that his client maintained his innocence and wished to have a trial. Campbell confirmed that he understood the risks of going to trial and that he did not wish to accept the plea offer, which was revoked by the prosecutor at that time.

Following a trial in Erie County Court (Tills, J.), a jury convicted Campbell of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree (N.Y. Penal Law ("P.L.") § 130.65(3)), three counts each of Rape in the First Degree (P.L. § 130.35(3)), Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Penal Law § 260.10(1)) Sodomy in the First Degree (Penal Law § 130.50(3)), and one count of Incest (Penal Law § 255.25). He was sentenced to consecutive terms of imprisonment aggregating seventy-five (75) years.

B. The Trial
1. The Prosecution's Case

a. Shanna's Testimony

Shanna, petitioner's daughter, was eight years-old at the time of the alleged abuse. She was living with her father at 60 Humason in the city of Buffalo. T.37. Shanna testified with trepidation about what happened. She stated that her father touched her "privacy" with his "privacy," and that "he put his in [hers]." T.37-38. Shanna stated that she used this "privacy" to "[p]ee." T.37. Petitioner's "privacy" or "thing" was not "sitting still" when it was inside her; "[i]t was moving." T.39. Then her father put his "privacy" "[i]n [her] other privacy" which she used to "go ... [p]ee." T.39. Shanna testified that "[i]t moved" when it was insider her other privacy and that it felt "[i]cky." T.40. Shanna testified that before he put his privacy inside of her, he put Vaseline "[o]n [her] privacy" that she used to "pee." T.40. Shanna stated that "[a] little" something "white" came out of petitioner's "privacy" where he "pee[d]" and he "[w]iped it off." T.40-41.

The sexual contact occurred while Shanna was in petitioner's bedroom. When shown a photograph of petitioner's bedroom, Shanna identified the "[g]rease" (hair relaxer) that he "put on [her] privacy." Shanna also identified a condom in the photograph, which she called a "safety" and said that her father "had it [sic] a lot in the bag." T.43-44, 45-46. He would "put them on ... [h]is privacy" before he put his "privacy" in her "privacy." T.44. After petitioner did this to her, "he said don't tell" or else she would get a "[s]panking." T.44.

Shanna did "[n]ot really" remember when' this happened; "[t]here wasn't no snow on the ground" but it was cold outside and it was before she went to Florida with some family members. T.47.

The first person she told about what Campbell had done was her older brother (and petitioner's son), Chezere, while they were in Florida. Shanna then told her grandmother, Esther Campbell. A "[l]ittle" while later, the family returned to Buffalo. T.49.

Shanna testified that nobody else besides her father "ever touched [her] privacy." T.49.

2. Shakia's Testimony

Shakia, petitioner's niece, was seven years-old at the time of the incident. She was staying at 60 Humason with her "Aunt Toot", Esther Penn. With difficulty, she testified about the alleged abuse, stating that her "Uncle Shannon" did something to her that she "didn't like." T.114. Shakia indicated that Campbell put his "ding-a-ling" "on [her] crotch." T.115. She said that "[i]t moved" and that while it was "inside [her] crotch" it felt "[b]ig." T.116. Before he put his "ding-a-ling" in her crotch, he put "[a] rubber" on. T.l 16-17. Shakia testified that petitioner also "touch[ed] the crotch that [she] go[es] poo out of with his "ding-a-ling" but that he only put his "ding-a-ling" inside the "crotch" that she "go[es] pee out of." T.119-20,121. Shakia testified that he put Vaseline "[i]n [her] crotch" before he put his "ding-a-ling" inside her.

Sometime after the incident with Campbell, Shakia's nine-year-old cousin Quentin "touch[ed][her] in [her] crotch" the same way. T.122.

3. Shamika's Testimony

Shamika, Shakia's older sister, testified that her Uncle Shannon touched her in a way that she "didn't like" while she was staying at 60 Humason. One night, Shamika was in Campbell's bedroom, sleeping. Campbell told her to wake up, but she "wouldn't wake up." T. 147. "[T]hen [Campbell] got on his hands and knees and told [her] please and he said ...,["]I'll give you a dollar if you do.["] T.147. Shamika again refused and Campbell said "please" and she "just flipped back to sleep."" T.147.

Then Campbell touched her on her "legs and [her] privacy" that she used to "[p]ee." T.148. Campbell "rolled [his hands] around" on her privacy after putting "[l]otion" on her "privacy" and his "privacy." T.148-49, 153. He then touched her "privacy" with his "privacy." T.149. Campbell also put his "privacy" into her mouth and touched her "butt" with his "privacy." His "privacy" "[m]oved around" when he did these things. T.165-66. When his "privacy" went "inside [her] butt" it felt "[b]ad." T.151. Shamika testified that "[a] little" something "[w]hite" came out of her uncle's "privacy" and he wiped it off on her cousin's "baby doll covers." T.151.

Shamika testified that her uncle named "DC" also sexually abused her—he touched her with his "privacy" in her "privacy" that she went "pee out of and her "privacy" that she went "poo out of[.]" T.154. This occurred after the incident with Campbell. T.155,159-60.

4. The Prosecution's Medical Expert

Dr. Jack Coyne testified that he performed physical examinations on the three girls on April 14, 1999, at the Child Advocacy Center in Buffalo. T.199. He explained that a physical examination of a patient includes four parts—the subjective reasons given by the patient as to why she was there, the objective findings by the doctor, the assessment, and the treatment plan. T.200-01. Without defense objection, Dr. Coyne testified from his report of Shakia's examination that she said,

[M]y uncle he put his weiner [sic] inside my crotch. He did it about four times and he used a rubber except the last time when this white stuff all came out. This happened at my big grandma's house two times and my little grandma's house two times. It would hurt and I would cry.

T.203. Dr. Coyne testified that Shakia was a "toddler, not sexually developed" and that her "hymenal ring was irregular and there was in fact a gap from 5:30 to 7:30 and the posterior fourchet was intact." T.204. Dr. Coyne explained that "from 5:30 to 7:30 there was a lack of hymenal tissue" which was "caused by some penetrating trauma of some kind." T.205. In the rectal area there was a "tag at 12:00" which was "rather common and normal," and did not state that such a finding was necessarily indicative of abuse. T.205. Based on the subjective and objective portions of the examination, Dr. Coyne concluded that his physical findings with regard to Shakia were "most consistent with the child's history of abuse." T.206.

Dr. Coyne also examined Shanna. When asked why she was there, Shanna replied, "[B]ecause my daddy hurt me, he put Vaseline on my private and then he put his thing inside me. Once I was bleeding. He said he was doing this because Vanessa was not here[.]" T.207. When examining Shanna, Dr. Coyne found that there was "positive erythema, ... meaning redness[.]" T.208. The hymen had an "irregular rim, and there was slight...

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