United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
TERRELL D. LEWIS, Petitioner,
TONY TRIERWEILER, Respondent.
OPINION AND ORDER (1) DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS (ECF #1), (2) DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF
APPEALABILITY, AND (3) GRANTING PERMISSION TO
MATTHEW F. LEITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE .
Terrell D. Lewis is a state prisoner in the custody of the
Michigan Department of Corrections. On August 24, 2012, a
jury in the Wayne County Circuit Court convicted Lewis of
first-degree criminal sexual conduct, MICH. COMP. LAWS §
750.520b(1)(e), and kidnapping, MICH. COMP. LAWS §
750.349. The state trial court then sentenced Lewis to two
concurrent terms of 17-to-35 years of imprisonment and
lifetime electronic monitoring.
August 2, 2017, Lewis filed a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
(See ECF #1.) Lewis raises two claims in his
petition: (1) he was deprived of the effective assistance of
counsel when his lawyer failed to object to testimony by
police officers that they were looking for a serial rapist,
and (2) the state trial court erroneously sentenced him to
lifetime electronic monitoring. (See id.)
Court has reviewed Lewis' claims and concludes that he is
not entitled to relief. Therefore, for the reasons stated
below, the Court DENIES Lewis' petition.
The Court further DENIES Lewis a certificate
of appealability. However, the Court GRANTS
Lewis permission to appeal in forma pauperis.
charges against Lewis arose from allegations that he used a
social-networking website called “Mocospace” to
lure the victim, Elizabeth Tipton, to an abandoned house
where he raped her.
to trial, the prosecutor filed a motion to introduce
other-acts evidence relating to the sexual assault of two
other women. The prosecutor asserted that Lewis contacted
these other women on the same website, lured them to the same
abandoned house, and sexually assaulted them in a similar
manner. The state trial court ruled that the evidence would
be admissible under Michigan Rule of Evidence 404(b) if Lewis
chose to assert a defense of consent. (See ECF #7-5
at Pg. ID 271-73.)
trial, Tipton testified that sometime during November of 2011
she began communicating with an individual identifying
himself as “Mr. Black 313” on Mocospace. (ECF
#7-19 at Pg. ID 511-13.) Tipton identified “Mr. Black
313” as Lewis. (See id.) The two eventually
exchanged phone numbers. (See Id. at Pg. ID 514.) In
the early morning hours of December 25, 2011, Lewis offered
to pay Tipton $200 for sex, and he texted her an address on
Mettetal Street in Detroit. (See Id. at Pg. ID
arrived at the address in her car, and Lewis greeted her
outside. (See Id. at 516-17.) It was still dark, but
the area was lit by a flood light. (See Id. at Pg.
ID 519.) As Tipton walked up onto the porch and through the
door, Lewis grabbed her by the neck, put something that felt
like a gun to her back, and forced her into the house.
(See Id. at Pg. ID 520-24.)
testified that Lewis said, “Do you feel this in your
back? I'd advise you to do what I tell you to do. I just
want the pussy.” (Id. at Pg. ID 522.) Lewis
pushed her onto a couch and took off her clothes. (See
Id. at Pg. ID 524.) Lewis then penetrated her vagina
with his penis. (See Id. at Pg. ID 533.) After he
finished, Lewis took Tipton's purse and ran out of the
house. (See Id. at Pg. ID 535.)
returned home and told her sister what happened. (See
Id. at Pg. ID 538.) Tipton's mother then took Tipton
to the police station and later to the hospital. (See
Id. at Pg. ID 539.)
effort to locate Lewis, Tipton posted a fake profile on
another social networking website called “Tag.”
(See Id. at Pg. ID 545-46.) She eventually found a
photograph of Lewis on that website that was the same one
Lewis used for his Mocospace profile. (See Id. at
Pg. ID 548.) Lewis contacted Tipton's fake profile and
offered to pay $150 in exchange for sex. (See Id. at
Pg. ID 549-50.) He then directed Tipton to the same area he
had directed her to before. (See Id. at Pg. ID 552.)
Instead of meeting Lewis at that location, Tipton printed
copies of Lewis' profile photos and gave them to the
police. (See Id. at Pg. ID 552-53.) The police
thereafter arrested Lewis. (See Id. at Pg. ID 553.)
Lewis was arrested, Tipton failed to identify him in a photo
array. (See Id. at Pg. ID 555.) Subsequently,
however, she picked Lewis out at a live line-up. (See
Id. at Pg. ID 556-58.)
second woman, Josalyn Jackson, testified that she used
Mocospace to engage in prostitution. (See Id. at Pg.
ID 649.) Jackson said that on April 6, 2012, she went to
14550 Mettetal Street to meet a man she had communicated with
on Mocospace. (See Id. at Pg. ID 645, 654.) She
later identified the man as Lewis. (See id.) Lewis
offered to pay her $200 for sex. (See Id. at Pg. ID
652-53.) When she went inside the house, Lewis put his arm
around her neck. (See Id. at Pg. ID 661-62.) It felt
to Jackson like Lewis pushed his hand against her back as if
he had a gun. (See id.) Lewis then pushed Jackson
over the couch and took her cell phone and purse. (See
Id. at Pg. ID 664-66.) He also pulled down her pants and
penetrated her vagina with his penis. (See Id. at
Pg. ID 666-68.) Lewis then ran from the house with
Jackson's purse. (See Id. at Pg. ID 671.)
Jackson followed him outside and yelled that she had just
been raped. (See Id. at Pg. ID 672.)
later spoke to the police and had a rape kit performed at the
hospital. (See Id. at Pg. ID 673-76.) Jackson did
not initially tell the police about agreeing to have sex for
money because she was embarrassed. (See Id. at Pg.
Jessica Lyons (the other similar-acts witness) nor Lewis
testified at trial.
Police Officer William Brewster testified that he assisted
Officer Jose Ortiz canvassing the neighborhood around
Mettetal Street. (See ECF #7-11 at Pg. ID 732.)
During direct examination the following exchange occurred:
Q: Do you recall what you were canvassing for?
A: We were canvassing the neighborhood for a serial rapist.
(Id. at Pg. ID 732.)
On redirect examination, the following exchange ...