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Godoy v. Director

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division

September 28, 2016

Ernesto Wilfredo Solano Godoy, Petitioner,
v.
Director, Virginia Dep't of Corrections, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Leonie M. Brinkema United States District Judge

         Ernesto Wilfredo Solano Godoy, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging the constitutionality of his conviction of rape, forcible sodomy and other offenses following a jury trial in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County. Before this Court is the respondent's Motion to Dismiss this petition.

         I. Background

         Godoy was charged with, and convicted of, burglary, rape, forcible sodomy, and two counts of object sexual penetration. Case No. FE-2011-1290. He was sentenced to an aggregate of forty-five (45) years imprisonment with ten (10) years suspended. In its opinion affirming Godoy's convictions, the Court of Appeals of Virginia described the underlying facts as follow:

At trial, the Commonwealth presented evidence that appellant used various tools to pry open the balcony door of K.A.A.'s apartment and entered her bedroom in the early morning hours of June 4, 2011. K.A.A. awoke to see a masked individual picking up her infant child from her bed and placing the infant in his crib nearby. When K.A.A. asked who was there, appellant approached her and brandished a large knife, which he dragged across the length of her body while indicating she remain quiet. Appellant then raped and sodomized K.A.A. repeatedly, at one point threatening to return the following day and kill her.
Following the attack, appellant demonstrated to K.A.A. that he had not harmed her three children who were sleeping in a different room.
He left shortly thereafter, and K.A.A. called a friend [and] then contacted 911. K.A.A. subsequently was examined by a trained sexual assault nurse, who observed abrasions and redness consistent with forcible rape. In inspecting K.A.A.'s apartment, police found fingerprints and a shoe impression on the balcony railing. They also found a bottle of bleach apparently used for the purpose of removing evidence of the prints, as well as fingerprints on a number of tools located on the balcony. The knife appellant used was discovered on the floor of K.A.A.'s bedroom. Police apprehended appellant after showing a sketch of the perpetrator to K.A.A.'s colleagues at work, one of whom recognized appellant as a former employee.
Appellant presented evidence in his defense that he and K.A.A. had been conducting an affair and that she had invited him to her apartment on the night of the offense. According to appellant, K.A. A. became angry with him throughout the course of the evening because he was attempting to break off the relationship, causing him to retreat to the balcony at one point. While appellant was on the balcony, his cellular telephone began to ring with a unique ringtone that signified his wife was calling. Appellant claimed that K.A.A. grabbed the telephone, locked the balcony door with appellant still outside, and proceeded to taunt appellant, indicating that she would answer the call and report their affair to his wife. Appellant then attempted to pry open the balcony doors, using tools that he found outside. K.A. A., however, chose not to answer the phone and eventually let appellant back inside the apartment.
Appellant admitted that he had sexual intercourse with K.A.A. and that he touched her sexually in the various ways alleged in the Commonwealth's case-in-chief, but stated that all of the acts were consensual. He stated that he already knew how to get to K.A.A.'s apartment because he had visited on a previous occasion to discuss purchasing an auto part from her boyfriend.

Godoy v. Commonwealth. 62 Va.App. 113, 116-17, 742 S.E.2d 407, 409 (May 28, 2013).[1] The Supreme Court of Virginia refused Godoy's petition for a further appeal on December 12, 2103, and refused rehearing on March 7, 2014.

         On March 9, 2015, Godoy timely filed a petition for a state writ of habeas corpus in the Supreme Court of Virginia, raising the following claims:

1. He received ineffective assistance of counsel when his attorney allowed testimony and evidence to be presented to the jury in violation of the Confrontation Clause.
2. He received ineffective assistance of counsel when his attorney failed to present defense witnesses to contradict the prosecution's evidence.
3. His right to due process was violated when the prosecution submitted improper and prejudicial comments to the jury, thus denying him a fair and impartial trial.
4. He received ineffective assistance of counsel when his attorney failed to object to the prosecution's improper and prejudicial comments to the jury.
5. He received ineffective assistance of appellate counsel when his attorney failed to argue against the prosecution's improper and prejudicial comments to the jury, involving the ends of justice exception to overcome his failure to preserve at trial.
6. He received ineffective assistance of appellate counsel when his attorney failed to argue that the evidence was insufficient to establish his guilt.
7. His right to due process was violated because the evidence in its totality was insufficient to support guilt of each element beyond a reasonable doubt.

         The Supreme Court of Virginia dismissed the petition on November 17, 2015. Godoy v. Director. Va. Dep't of ...


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