United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
A. Gibney, Jr. United States District Judge.
Washington, a federal inmate proceeding pro se,
brings this motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to
vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence ("§ 2255
Motion, " ECF No. 137). The Government has moved to
dismiss. For the reasons set forth below, the § 2255
Motion will be DENIED.
grand jury charged Washington with the interstate
transportation of a minor with the intent that the minor
engage in prostitution or other criminal sexual activity, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(a)." United
States v. Washington, 743 F.3d 938, 940 (4th Cir. 2014).
Following a jury trial, Washington was convicted of the
charge. Id. The Court sentenced Mr. Washington to a
variant sentence of 240 months of imprisonment. Id.
at 944. Mr. Washington appealed. On appeal, the United States
Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit summarized the
evidence of Mr. Washington's guilt as follows:
In the spring of 2012, Washington, then thirty-two years old,
met R.C., a fourteen-year-old runaway. Washington approached
R.C. on a street in Maryland, where she had already begun
engaging in prostitution and using drugs. Almost immediately,
he became her pimp. At some point, R.C. told Washington that
she was nineteen years old. Washington took R.C. to Nashville
and Clarksville, Tennessee; Birmingham and Huntsville,
Alabama; and Richmond, Virginia. In each city, Washington
used the internet to advertise R.C. as a prostitute. He
developed a pricing scale and kept nearly all of the
proceeds, which he used to pay for food, lodging, travel, and
drugs. Washington also had sex with R.C. on multiple
In Birmingham, R.C. was arrested and charged with
prostitution. She gave the police a false name and date of
birth, claiming that she was nineteen years old.
Washington and R.C. were later arrested in Richmond in an FBI
sting operation. During an interview with an FBI agent, R.C.
confirmed that Washington was her pimp.
Id. at 940.
§ 2255 Motion, Mr. Washington, who was represented by
Charles Gavin at trial, asserts that he was denied the
effective assistance of counsel upon the following grounds:
Claim 1 Counsel failed to adequately prepare Mr. Washington
to testify during Mr. Washington's trial. (§ 2255
Claim 2 Counsel's inadequate preparation for trial caused
(a) to allow a Government witness to testify who did not want
to testify, (id. at 5);
(b) to not exploit the memory lapse by Mr. May;
(c) to take advantage of the fact that the victim did not
wish to testify against Mr. Washington, (id.).
Claim 3 (a) In his opening statement counsel told the jury
that Mr. Washington had just been released from jail.
(Id. at 7.)
(b) During Mr. Daniel's testimony, counsel stated,
"I understand what is happening here, but..."
Claim 4 Counsel failed to spend an adequate amount of time
with Mr. Washington prior to trial. (Id. at 8.)
Claim 11 Counsel failed to file a motion to suppress with
respect to Mr. Washington's cell phone. (Id. at
Claim 12 Counsel failed to call a witness. (Id. at
Claim 14 Appellate counsel failed to communicate with Mr.
Washington and failed to raise on appeal the issues Mr.
Washington wished to pursue. (Id.)
Mr. Washington contends that the prosecution engaged in
multiple instances of misconduct. Mr. Washington asserts he
was unable to raise this misconduct on his direct appeal due
to the ineffective assistance of his appellate counsel. The
defaulted issues of alleged prosecutorial misconduct were as
Claim 5 "The Government went to great lengths to keep
the defense from exploring into the juvenile's sexual
life prior to the day she ran away." (Id. at
Claim 6 "The Government compelled witnesses in this case
to testify against their will by subpoena, and used the
threat of prosecution for failing to appear."
Claim 7 The Government manufactured a conflict of interest in
order to have Mr. Washington's initial counsel, Carolyn
Grady, replaced. (Id., at 11.)
Claim 8 The Government failed to prove an element of the
Claim 10 The prosecution threatened one of Mr.
Washington's witnesses, Josh Gahan, in order to induce