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Adrian Hanni v. Keith Smith

October 28, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Donald C. Nugent

Magistrate Judge Greg White


This matter is before the Court upon the Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Greg White (Document #19). The Magistrate Judge recommends that the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Petitioner, Adrian Hanni (Docket #1) be denied.

Factual and Procedural History

As set forth by the Magistrate Judge, the factual and procedural history of this case is as follows:

I. Summary of Facts.

In a habeas corpus proceeding instituted by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state court, factual determinations made by state courts "shall be presumed to be correct." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1); see also House v. Bell, 283 F.3d 37 (6th Cir. 2002). The state appellate court summarized the facts underlying Hanni's conviction as follows:

[*P2] On August 23, 2007, a Cuyahoga County Grand jury indicted appellant on one count of rape in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(2); one count of rape in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(c); and one count of kidnapping in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(2), (A)(4). All counts contained notice of prior conviction and repeat violent offender specifications ("RVO"). Prior to trial, defense counsel requested that the trial court bifurcate the specifications and agreed to stipulate to the prior convictions. A jury trial commenced on December 18, 2007.

[*P3] At trial, the state presented several witnesses, including L.H., the victim; Officer Byron Brody; Nurse Laura Gaetner; and Detective James McPike. Their testimony revealed the following information.

[*P4] Officer Brody testified that on March 25, 2007, he responded to a call that a female was being held against her will at a house on Leeila Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. Upon receiving further information from the caller, Linda Berry, that the alleged victim was mentally retarded, he went to the Leeila Avenue address, where he encountered appellant and Edwin Hill, both of whom lived at the house. He asked the men whether a person by the name of L.H. was there because he had received a call that L.H. was being held against her will. Appellant denied that L.H. was being held against her will.

[*P5] Officer Brody further testified that L.H. came to the door and he spoke to her privately. L.H. told him she was afraid of the men and that she did not want to stay there because they were abusing her. He took L.H. to Linda Berry's house. L.H. told him that, a few days prior to March 25, 2007, appellant had anally raped her, had pushed and hit her repeatedly, and had threatened to kill her. When Officer Brody returned to the Leeila Avenue house, appellant and Hill were no longer there. He took L.H. to Fairview Hospital where a rape kit examination was performed.

[*P6] Nurse Gaetner testified that she administered the sexual assault kit to L.H. on March 25, 2007. L.H. had bruises on her arms and legs and complained of tenderness in her ribs. She examined L.H.'s anus, but did not notice tears, abrasions, or swelling. She wrote down the narrative from L.H. in which L.H. described being anally raped by appellant.

[*P7] Defense counsel and the state stipulated to the Bureau of Criminal Investigations ("BCI") report that indicated the rape kit tests were negative.

[*P8] L.H. testified that she had lived with appellant and Hill at the Leeila Avenue address for several months. Hill was her boyfriend, but they had never engaged in sexual relations. She knew Hill was married to Linda Berry, the person who had made the call to the police on March 25th.

Appellant and Hill would occasionally take money from her, and appellant would not let her leave the house unless she paid him. Appellant was physically abusive to her on several occasions. She testified that she and appellant had never had consensual sex.

[*P9] L.H. further testified that a few days prior to March 25th, appellant forced her to lie on her stomach on the bed and proceeded to put his penis into her rectum. She testified at one point that appellant made her take off her pants, but on cross-examination, she could not remember how her pants were removed. She testified that she kicked and hit at appellant and told him she did not want what was happening to happen, but appellant continued for approximately three minutes. When she told appellant he was hurting her and asked him to stop, he stopped. L.H. also testified that Hill witnessed appellant rape her.

[*P10] Det. McPike testified that he took a statement from L.H., and L.H. had identified appellant from a photo lineup. He interviewed appellant, and appellant admitted to having consensual vaginal sex with L.H. on one prior occasion.

[*P11] The state intended to call Linda Berry, but she refused to appear because she claimed she had been threatened to induce her not to testify against appellant.

[*P12] The defense called Edwin Hill to testify. Hill testified that he had shared a home with appellant and L.H. on Leeila Avenue for approximately four or five months. Linda Berry is his wife, but they had been separated for three years and planned on divorcing. He had never seen appellant engage in any sort of sexual activity with L.H.

[*P13] At the close of the defense case, the matter was submitted to the jury with instructions on all three counts as charged in the indictment. The jury found appellant guilty of the two counts of rape and one count of kidnapping, in addition to finding him guilty of the sexual motivation specifications. The ...

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