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Lake v. Vazquez

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

May 10, 2018

JESSE SCOTT LAKE, Petitioner,
v.
JESSICA VAZQUEZ, Respondent.

          Noting Dated: June 1, 2018

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          DAVID W. CHRISTEL, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         The District Court has referred this action to United States Magistrate Judge David W. Christel. Petitioner Jesse Scott Lake filed his federal Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus (“Petition”), pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, seeking relief from a state court conviction. Dkt. 1. Petitioner has claimed four grounds for relief. However, one ground is unexhausted, another is based on state, rather than federal, law, and Petitioner has not pled constitutional violations for the remaining two. Therefore, the Court recommends Petitioner's Petition be denied on all grounds.

         GROUNDS FOR RELIEF

         Petitioner raises four grounds for relief:

1) The trial court violated his due process rights by refusing to allow him to explain why he did not give police a full statement.
2) His due process rights were violated when the prosecutor admitted a redacted version of his statement to police as substantive evidence.
3) The prosecutor committed misconduct by arguing that Petitioner's post-arrest silence was substantive evidence of his guilt.
4) The trial court erred by ruling that two out-of-court conversations were hearsay and inadmissible in violation of Petitioner's right to a complete defense and right to confront witnesses against him.

         FACTS

         Petitioner was convicted of one count of first degree child molestation and two counts of second degree incest. He was sentenced to 89 months incarceration, followed by 24 months of community custody. He is currently serving his community custody sentence.

         The Washington Court of Appeals summarized the facts of petitioner's case on direct review:

[Petitioner] Lake is the biological father of SL and the stepfather of AM. AM's mother, KL, began a relationship and moved in with Lake in 1995. Shortly after KL moved in with Lake, he began touching AM inappropriately. Lake engaged in various acts of sexual contact with AM beginning when AM was in first grade and continuing until AM was 18 years old.
When AM was in the tenth grade, Lake began giving her massages that would include massaging her buttocks, breasts, and vaginal area while she was naked. These massages would take place nearly every day and would typically occur in Lake's bedroom with AM lying on his bed and Lake kneeling beside the bed. During some of these massages, Lake would have AM face away from him, and she could hear him grab something from out of his dresser and then feel him thrusting into the bed. On one occasion, Lake went to the bathroom to wash his hands and AM felt an object that she suspected was a sex toy placed between Lake's mattress and box spring. Sometime later, AM looked in Lake's dresser and found a rubber vagina, a rubber mouth, and lubrication.
Lake's biological daughter, SL, had visitation with him on the weekends. SL also lived full time with Lake for approximately a year when she was in the fifth grade. Starting around this time, Lake would watch SL while she was in the shower and would follow her into her bedroom and watch as she got dressed. SL saw Lake engage in this same behavior with regard to AM. Lake would also rub both girls' buttocks and breasts while they were wearing only a towel.
In October 2008, AM began secretly dating BH. About four months into their relationship, BH became concerned that something inappropriate was taking place at AM's home based on AM's reaction when he tried to be intimate with her. BH discussed his concerns with SL, who told him that Lake was sexually abusing her and AM. The following day, BH told his father about the allegations and then reported the allegations to the police. The State charged Lake by third amended information with two counts of first degree child molestation and two counts of second degree incest for his conduct against AM and SL.
. . .
At trial, SL testified about Lake's stated reasons for touching her and AM as follows:
[SL]: [Lake] read in a book that girls should be touched by their dad otherwise they're going to grow up and be promiscuous and feel unloved and stuff like that just because of our neglect so we need to be touched.
[State]: Okay. And did he ever tell you that if he didn't do that, that children would grow up to be whores?
[SL]: Yes, I was trying to put it nicely but yes, we would be sluts and whores.
[State]: We need to know exactly what he said so you're not going to embarrass anyone here, okay?
[SL]: Okay.
[State]: So why don't you tell me what he said?
[SL]: Basically we would be sluts and whores if we were not touched by our father, that the neglect would be-we would try to find it elsewhere and the only boyfriend we needed, ...

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