Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Santiago-Bautista v. McCullick

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

June 26, 2018

ROGELIO SANTIAGO-BAUTISTA, Petitioner,
v.
MARK McCULLICK, 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 APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS

          MATTHEW F. LEITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Petitioner Rogelio Santiago-Bautista is a state prisoner in the custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections. On December 27, 2016, Santiago-Bautista filed a petition for a writ of habeas in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (See ECF #1.) In the petition, Santiago-Bautista challenges his state-court conviction for one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, MICH. COMP. LAWS § 750.520c(2)(b). Santiago-Bautista pleaded guilty to that offense, and the state court sentenced him to 10-to-15 years in custody pursuant to a sentence agreement.

         Santiago-Bautista raises four claims in his petition: (1) his plea was involuntary because he understood the sentence agreement to be for a term of 10-to-15 months in custody, not 10-to-15 years, (2) his trial counsel was ineffective when counsel advised him to accept a sentence agreement that required the court to impose the maximum possible sentence for a conviction of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, (3) the trial court failed to comply with the Michigan Court Rules during the plea proceeding, and (4) his sentence is disproportionate to the seriousness of his offense. (See ECF #1.)

         The Court has reviewed Santiago-Bautista's claims and concludes that he is not entitled to federal habeas relief. Accordingly, the Court will DENY his petition. The Court will also deny Santiago-Bautista a certificate of appealability. But it will grant him permission to appeal in forma pauperis.

         I

         Santiago-Bautista appeared before the state trial court for a plea hearing on December 12, 2014. (See ECF #8-3.) At the beginning of the plea hearing, the trial court swore in an interpreter for Santiago-Bautista, who speaks Spanish. (See Id. at Pg. ID 129.) The interpreter swore under oath that she would “accurately, and honestly, and impartially interpret” the proceedings from English into Spanish. (Id.) Santiago-Bautista's counsel did not object to the interpreter's qualifications. (See id.)

         The prosecutor then placed the terms of plea agreement on the record. The prosecutor indicated that Santiago-Bautista was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and that Santiago-Bautista had agreed to plead guilty to the lesser offense of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. (See Id. at Pg. ID 129-30.) The prosecutor told the trial court that the parties had an “understanding that [Santiago-Bautista] [would] receive a sentence of 10 to 15 years” - a sentence substantially below the “mandatory minimum” of 25 years on the original, first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge. (Id. at Pg. ID 130.) Santiago-Bautista's counsel confirmed the terms of the plea agreement. (See id.)

         The trial court then placed Santiago-Bautista under oath. (See id.) Santiago-Bautista first told the trial court that he understood why he was in court. (See id.) Santiago-Bautista also said that he understood the charge to which he was pleading guilty, that the offense carried a maximum penalty of 15 years in custody, and that upon his release, he would be required to register for lifetime electronic monitoring. (See id.) The trial court specifically asked Santiago-Bautista if he understood that the maximum penalty for the crime that he was pleading guilty to was 15 years, and Santiago-Bautista answered, “Yes, your Honor.” (Id. at Pg. ID 131.) Santiago-Bautista also indicated that he understood his guilty plea would result in certain “immigration consequences, ” including potential deportation. (Id.) Finally, the trial court informed Santiago-Bautista of all the trial and appellate rights that he would be waiving by entering his guilty plea, and Santiago-Bautista said that he understood those rights. (See Id. at Pg. ID 131-32.)

         The trial court then reiterated the terms of the plea agreement, including the agreed-upon term of 10-to-15-years of imprisonment:

The plea agreement as I understand it is as follows: Upon your plea to criminal sexual conduct in the second degree, the prosecution attorney will not pursue criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and in addition you will receive the following sentence. You will serve a minimum of 10 years of incarceration in the Michigan Department of Corrections and the maximum penalty you face is 15 years.

(Id. at Pg. ID 132.)

         Santiago-Bautista told the trial court that he understood the terms of that agreement, and he said that he did not have any questions about the agreement. (See id.) He also affirmed that the plea agreement placed on the record was the complete agreement, that no threats were made to him that caused him to plead guilty, that he understood he was giving up any claim that his plea was the result of any promises or threats that were not disclosed at the hearing, and that his plea was free and voluntary. (See Id. at Pg. ID 133.)

         When the trial court asked Santiago-Bautista “how do you plead to the charge of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree, culpable or no [sic] culpable, ” he answered, “guilty, your Honor.” (Id. at Pg. ID 133-34.) Santiago-Bautista and the Court then head the following colloquy:

The Court: What did you do that makes you guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree?
The Defendant: On August 4 or this year, I went to the house of Jennifer Viveros. I kiss her and I touch her groin area.
The Court: What was the name of the victim?
The Defendant: Jennifer Viveros.
The Court: Was she under the age of 13?
The Defendant: Yes, your Honor.
The Court: Did you touch her in her vaginal area?
The Defendant: Yeah, right in the groin.
The Court: Between her legs in her private area?
The Defendant: Yes, your Honor.
The Court: Did you touch her above her clothing or underneath her clothing?
The Defendant: Under her ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.