United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR A WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS AND DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF
APPEALABILITY OR LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS
GEORGE CARAM STEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
David Curtis, (“petitioner”), confined at the Gus
Harrison Correctional Facility in Adrian, Michigan, seeks the
issuance of a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. In his pro se application, petitioner
challenges his convictions, brought in two lower court files,
on three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct,
M.C.L.A. § 750.520c(1)(b), one count of third-degree
criminal sexual conduct, M.C.L.A. § 750.520d(1)(e), and
two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, M.C.L.A.
§ 750.520e(1)(f). For the reasons stated below, the
petition for a writ of habeas corpus is DENIED.
was convicted of the above offenses following a jury trial in
the Barry County Circuit Court. This Court recites verbatim
the relevant facts relied upon by the Michigan Court of
Appeals, which are presumed correct on habeas review pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1). See Wagner v.
Smith, 581 F.3d 410, 413 (6th Cir. 2009):
Defendant was a substitute teacher at Lakewood High School.
He also volunteered in the weight room. The victims, M.K.,
K.S., and T .H., were students who used the weight room at
Lakewood High School. At different times, defendant took each
of the three victims to the school's training room. M.K.
testified that she went to the training room with defendant
in the summer of 2011 to do hip flexor exercises. On one
visit, defendant suggested that he give her a body massage.
During the massage, defendant pulled up M.K.'s sports bra
and rubbed her breasts. On another visit, this one on Labor
Day, defendant pulled up M.K.'s sports bra and kissed her
right nipple, while also penetrating her vagina with his
finger. T.H. testified that she went to the training room
with defendant after she had performed some squats and
defendant said that something looked wrong with her hips. In
the training room, defendant lowered her sweatpants, moved
her underwear, and rubbed her butt.
K.S. testified that she went to the training room on two days
with defendant to do some exercises. On the first day,
defendant rubbed her groin, and his hands went underneath the
spandex of her shorts. On the second day, defendant rubbed
K.S.'s groin and the sides of her butt.
Two other teenagers also testified about defendant's
actions. D.K. testified that on numerous occasions defendant
asked her to come into an office in the weight room with him;
he then rubbed lotion on her body. On her legs, he rubbed up
to her underwear line. A.L. testified that one day when she
was baby-sitting for defendant's two youngest children
and got sunburned, defendant rubbed aloe on her body. He
rubbed it on her legs, going up to her underwear line, and on
her stomach, going up to her bra. He also rubbed aloe under
her bra straps.
People v. Curtis, No. 318699, 2015 WL 630396, at *1
(Mich. Ct. App. Feb. 12, 2015).
conviction was affirmed on appeal by the Michigan Court of
filed an application for leave to appeal to the Michigan
Supreme Court. The Michigan Supreme Court remanded the matter
back to the trial court in light of that court's decision
in People v. Lockridge, 498 Mich. 358; 870 N.W.2d
502 (Mich. 2015), because the jury did not find the facts to
support the scoring of the sentencing guidelines beyond a
reasonable doubt and petitioner did not admit to these facts.
On remand, the trial judge was to determine whether he would
have imposed a materially different sentence but for the
constitutional error. The Michigan Supreme Court denied
petitioner leave to appeal regarding his remaining issues.
People v. Curtis, 498 Mich. 916 (2015). On remand,
the trial court denied petitioner's motion for
seeks a writ of habeas corpus on the following grounds:
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel.
Right to Present a Defense.
Standard of Review
U.S.C. § 2254(d), as amended by The Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), imposes the
following standard of review for habeas cases:
An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a
person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court
shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was
adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless
the adjudication of the claim-
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved
an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal
law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States;
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable
determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented