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Crick v. Key

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

June 21, 2018

PATRICK S. CRICK, Petitioner,
JAMES KEY, Respondent.



         Petitioner Patrick S. Crick was a state prisoner when he filed his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition for writ of habeas corpus seeking relief from his 2013 Snohomish County Superior Court conviction for child molestation in the first degree. Mr. Crick is no longer in state custody but is subject to collateral consequences, such as registration and reporting requirements. Dkt. 13, Exhibit 1.

         In his petition, filed on September 8, 2017, Mr. Crick presents three grounds for relief: (1) the State obtained his conviction through false testimony in violation of Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264 (1959); (2) the State suppressed exculpatory evidence in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1972); and (3) his appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance. Dkt. 3. The State contends the petition is barred by 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1), the federal one-year statute of limitations. In his response, Mr. Crick does not contest the State's claim that the petition was filed outside of the statute of limitations. However, he argues the Court should find that the statute of limitations was equitably tolled due to the egregious conduct of his appellate attorney. Dkt. 22.

         After careful review of the petition, opposition, and balance of the record, the undersigned concludes that the petition is untimely, the statute of limitations was not equitably tolled, and therefore, the Court should deny the petition without reaching the merits.


         A. Statement of Facts

         The Washington Court of Appeals summarized the facts underlying Mr. Crick's conviction as follows:

In September 2012, K disclosed that Patrick Crick touched her breast and vaginal areas under her clothing one night during the summer of 2011 when she was 11 years old. The State charged Crick with child molestation in the first degree.
At trial, the testimony established that during the summer of 2011, K stayed for a period of time at the rural home Crick shared with his girlfriend, who is K's cousin, and the girlfriend's two children. K was close friends with R, the girlfriend's daughter. K liked spending time with R's family.
During this time, K and R set up a tent on the porch and slept there on some nights. One night, one or both girls asked Crick to come inside the tent with them before they fell asleep. Crick lay down between R and K. The three talked casually and then K fell asleep.
K testified that a short time later, she was awakened by someone moving inside the tent. She opened her eyes slightly and saw Crick bending over her. He touched her chest area underneath her bra. A minute or two later, he placed his hand underneath her shorts and underwear and touched her vaginal area. K was afraid, felt “frozen, ” and did not say anything.
Crick then moved over to where R was sleeping and “hunched” over her for a few minutes. He then kissed each girl on the forehead and left the tent. K tried to awaken R but was unable to do so. She cried herself to sleep.
The next day, K tried to act normally, but eventually told R what had happened. K asked R's mother if she could go home, but did not tell her the true reason she wanted to leave. R's mother told K she would have to wait because the family was already planning to go to K's home for a family birthday party a few days later.
K did not tell her parents or any other adults what happened because she was “scared and nervous” and “just wasn't thinking right.” After that incident, K did not return to R's house. K was not allowed to go to a subsequent family Christmas gathering because she failed to do a chore she was required to do. She was happy about this because she did not want to see Crick. K also told her family that she did not want R's family to come to a graduation party.
More than a year after the incident, in September 2012, K's parents found a note she had written about a month earlier when she was thinking about running away. In the note, she referred to the touching incident. K's parents confronted her about the note, and she disclosed the details of what happened in the summer of 2011. K's parents also made her tell R's mother what happened. Both R's mother and K's parents reported the incident to Child Protective Services.
R's mother remembered that R and K asked Crick to come into their tent one night in July 2011 when K was staying with the family. When Crick later came up to bed, he looked tired and told R's mother he had fallen asleep in the tent. Many months later, after she learned about K's allegations, R's mother confronted Crick, and he told her that before leaving the tent that night, he merely pulled down one of the girl's shirts. R also testified at trial but ...

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