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Cauthon v. Warden, Marion Correctional Institution

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

September 7, 2017





         Petitioner, a state prisoner, seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. This matter is before the Court on Petitioner's Motion for Stay of Proceedings (Doc. 16) and on Petitioner's Motion(s) for Production of Trial Transcripts (Docs. 17, 21). For the following reasons, these motions are DENIED. Petitioner may have 21 days in which to file a traverse to the Return of Writ (Doc. 14). See Order (Doc. 19).

         Facts and Procedural History

         Petitioner challenges his June 2006 convictions, following a jury trial in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, on charges of rape and gross sexual imposition. The Ohio Court of Appeals for the Tenth District summarized the facts and procedural history of the case as follows:

Defendant-appellant, N.D.C., [1] appeals from the judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas reinstating the judgment of conviction following a remand from this court.
On June 17, 2005, appellant was indicted on four counts of rape, in violation of R.C. 2907.02, and one count of gross sexual imposition, in violation of R.C. 2907.05. A jury trial began on June 15, 2006. The jury returned verdicts finding appellant guilty of three counts of rape and one count of gross sexual imposition. Subsequent motions for acquittal and a new trial were denied by the trial court. By judgment entry filed July 3, 2006, the trial court imposed consecutive life sentences for the rape convictions and a five-year consecutive sentence for the gross sexual imposition conviction. Appellant timely appealed to this court and asserted a single assignment of error. State v. N.D.C., Franklin App. No. 06AP-790, 2007-Ohio-5088 (“N.D.C. I ”).
The underlying facts of the convictions were set forth in N.D.C. I, as follows:
In April 2005, “DR, ” then age 12, resided with his mother (hereafter “DR's mother”) and his two younger stepbrothers, “DC, ” age seven, and “NC, ” age eight, in Columbus, Ohio. Appellant is the father of DC and NC, and the stepfather of DR; appellant began dating DR's mother when DR was three years of age.
On April 1, 2005, appellant moved back to DR's mother's residence after being away for a period of time. The state's theory of the case was that appellant sexually assaulted DR on three separate occasions, over an approximate two-week period in early April 2005, while DR's mother was at work. DR testified that two of the incidents occurred when he was cleaning the bathroom; specifically, on both occasions, appellant entered the bathroom, pulled down DR's pants, and inserted his finger inside DR's anus. DR related a third incident in which appellant told him to go to his mother's bedroom, take off his clothes, and lie on the bed. DR testified that, as he was lying face down on the bed, appellant got on top of him and “put his penis inside my butt.” (Tr. Vol. II, at 266.)
DR's younger brothers both testified regarding the alleged incident in the bedroom. Specifically, DR's brother, NC, testified that he observed his “dad on top of my brother” while looking through a vent located in his bedroom. (Tr. Vol. III, at 445.) DR's other brother, DC, testified that he looked through his mother's bedroom door and observed his father on top of DR on the bed. According to DC, his father “[p]ut his private part in my brother's behind.” (Tr. Vol. III, at 478.) Appellant noticed DC standing near the bedroom door, and he grabbed a belt and struck DC on the legs.
Sha Clark is a medical social worker at Children's Hospital. On May 23, 2005, Clark conducted an interview with DR at Children's Hospital. During the interview, DR indicated that, on several occasions, he had been a victim of sexual abuse by appellant. DR related that appellant had touched his private parts, and he described different incidents occurring in the bathroom and one incident that occurred in the bedroom.
Dr. Ellen McManus, an emergency medical physician at Children's Hospital, conducted a physical examination of DR on May 23, 2005. The physician noted nothing abnormal during the examination.
In April 2005, DR's mother was employed and worked first shift hours. Approximately two weeks after appellant had moved back to her residence, DR's mother noticed some marks on DC's legs. She asked NC about the marks on DC's legs, and NC told her appellant “had whooped him for getting in trouble at school.” (Tr. Vol. III, at 528.) Appellant moved out of the house on April 15, 2005, and, on May 16, 2005, DR's mother learned of the alleged incident involving appellant and DR. She phoned the police, and subsequently took the boys to Children's Hospital.
On cross-examination, DR's mother acknowledged that she had concerns about appellant's sexuality, fearing he might do something sexually inappropriate to her children. When she asked DR whether any inappropriate activity had occurred, he repeatedly told her nothing had happened.
The first witness for the defense was an uncle of DR's (hereafter “DR's uncle”). In the spring of 2005, DR's uncle had a conversation with DR about alleged sexual contact, and DR denied having any such contact with appellant. DR's uncle testified that DR told him about threats his mother made to him (DR).
Kathleen Cooke is a private investigator who investigated the allegations at the request of defense counsel. As part of the investigation, Cooke interviewed DR's mother, who informed Cooke that she started a new job on April 7, 2005.
On May 17, 2005, Columbus Police Officer Wendell J. Tolber responded to a 911 call at an address on Maryland Avenue. According to Officer Tolber's report, the mother of an alleged victim (DR) told the officer that her husband had molested the victim, and that the “[v]ictim stated the incident occurred the end part of 2004.” (Tr. Vol. IV, at 612.) A domestic violence detective was contacted and advised of the incident, but the detective indicated he would not be responding due to the span of time involved.
At trial, the parties entered into a stipulation that Franklin County Children Services caseworker Robin Glove, if called to testify, would state that she interviewed DR on May 6, 2005. During that interview, DR denied any touching or sexual contact by his stepfather. Further, DR did not make eye contact with the ...

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