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Matherly v. Director, V.A. D.O.C.

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division

July 27, 2017

LAWRENCE MATHERLY, JR., Petitioner,
v.
DIRECTOR, V.A. D.O.C., Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Norman K. Moon Senior United States District Judge.

         Lawrence Matherly, Jr., a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging the validity of his confinement on a judgment by the Danville City Circuit Court for forcible sodomy, consensual sodomy, and indecent liberties by a custodian. Respondent filed a motion to dismiss Matherly's § 2254 petition, and Matherly responded, making the matter ripe for disposition. After review of the record, I grant the motion to dismiss.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         In February 2013, the victim's mother discovered troubling Facebook messages between the victim, [1] and Matherly.[2] At Matherly's trial, the victim testified that, in September 2012, Matherly had rubbed her breasts over and underneath her shirt, rubbed her vagina over and underneath her underwear, and then he rubbed his penis “next to my pussy.”[3] Trial Tr. Vol. 2, 37 (Sep. 25, 2013). Further, the victim stated that Matherly had touched her butt with his hand and had put “his dick . . . in [her] butt, ” and that Matherly had put “[h]is private in [her] butt” again in January. Trial Tr. vol. 2, at 39. She said that each time Matherly went “[i]n and out” of her, and that she bled when she used the bathroom afterward. Id. at 50.

         After a bench trial, the Danville City Circuit Court convicted Matherly of two counts of forcible sodomy, two counts of consensual sodomy, and three counts of indecent liberties by a custodian, and sentenced him to an active sentence of twenty-four years. Matherly appealed, but the Virginia Court of Appeals and the Virginia Supreme Court denied his petitions. In 2015, Matherly filed a habeas petition in the Virginia Supreme Court, which the court dismissed on June 29, 2016.

         II. Claims

         Matherly raises six claims in his current petition:

1. Petitioner was convicted twice for the same offenses in violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause;
2. The Commonwealth presented no evidence corroborating the complaining witness' testimony;
3. The Commonwealth did not prove the mental incapacity of the complaining witness in violation of the Due Process Clause;
4. The Commonwealth did not prove that a third party was involved in the forcible sodomies in violation of the Due Process Clause;
5. The Commonwealth did not prove that the petitioner was acting in a custodial capacity when he committed the indecent liberties offenses in violation of the Due Process Clause; and
6. The prosecution did not disclose exculpatory evidence under Rule 3A:11(b)(1), RPC Rule 3.8(d), and Brady v. Maryland 373 U.S. 83 (1963) in violation of the Due Process Clause.

         Respondent has conceded that Matherly has exhausted his claims in state court.

         III. Standard of Review

         To obtain federal habeas relief, a petitioner must demonstrate that he is “in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), however, the federal habeas court may not grant a writ of habeas corpus ...


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