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Kraemer v. Grounds

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

September 9, 2013

STEPHEN G. KRAEMER, Petitioner,
v.
RANDY GROUNDS, Warden, Robinson Correctional Center, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

MARVIN E. ASPEN, District Judge.

Stephen Kraemer, a prisoner at Robinson Correctional Center in Robinson, Illinois, has petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 2254. Respondent now moves to dismiss Kraemer's petition as untimely. For the reasons set forth below, we grant Respondent's motion to dismiss.[1]

BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

We begin with a recitation of the factual background and procedural history of Kraemer's detention. Kraemer was charged in the Circuit Court of Lake County with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. (Resp. Ex. B, Rule 23 Order, People v. Kraemer , No. 02-06-0500 at 1 (Ill.App.2d Dist. 2008).) In March 2006, a jury found Kraemer guilty, and he was sentenced him to thirteen years' imprisonment. ( Id. ) The facts underlying Kraemer's conviction are as follows.[2]

I. Kraemer's Conviction

In 2004, Kraemer was charged with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child:

Count 1 alleged that on or about May 31, 2004, defendant knowingly committed an act of sexual penetration when he placed his finger in the vagina of the victim, E.K. (2004 incident). Count 2 alleged that between December 18, 1998, and July 12, 1999, defendant knowingly committed an act of sexual penetration when he placed his penis inside E.K.'s vagina (1998 incident). On November 17, 2005, the trial court granted defendant's motion to sever the counts. The State elected to proceed on count 2 first.

( Id. at 1-2.) The State was granted leave to introduce evidence regarding the 2004 incident during trial for the 1998 incident. ( Id. at 2.)

According to testimony at trial, the 1998 incident occurred over the course of a few months when E.K. was five. ( Id. at 4, 11.) Kraemer's mother babysat E.K. and her brother, Stephen, and they would go to her house after school, on weekends, and during school holidays. ( Id. at 4-6.) Sometimes Kraemer would take E.K. into his bedroom, pull down her pants and unzip his own, pick her up, and "bop her up and down on his penis." ( Id. at 4-9.) He would give her a pretzel and tell her not to tell anyone. ( Id. at 4-5, 6, 9.)

The 2004 incident occurred when E.K. was ten years old, at a graduation party for her brother held at their home on Memorial Day 2004, while Kraemer, E.K., and her friend, Danielle, were in the basement watching a movie. ( Id. at 4, 6, 7, 10.) E.K. sat with Kraemer under a blanket on the couch while Danielle sat on a chair. ( Id. at 4, 10.) Kraemer touched "E.K.'s vagina and put his finger inside her vagina for approximately ten minutes. In response, E.K. got up from the couch and sat in a different location." ( Id. at 4, 10.)

E.K. revealed both incidents to her mother in early June 2004. ( Id. at 8.) Kraemer was picked up by police on June 18, 2004, and taken to the Waukegan Police Department, where he was interviewed by Officers Kathleen Paavilainen and Ray Rinaldi. ( Id. at 16.) He was working at Camp MaKaJaWan in Wisconsin at the time. ( Id. at 15.) After reading Kraemer his rights, the officers questioned him for over two hours. ( Id. at 16.) They asked him "questions such as whether it was possible' [Kraemer] could have touched E.K., to which [Kraemer] testified he responded maybe." ( Id. ) At the officers' request, Kraemer offered a written statement, which he testified "accurately reflected the conversation he had with the officers, but did not accurately reflect what happened on Memorial Day 2004." ( Id. at 17.)

The trial occurred in the Circuit Court of Lake County, Illinois, from March 13-15, 2006. (Pet. at 1.) On March 16, 2006, the jury returned with a guilty verdict as charged in count 2 of the indictment. (Resp. Ex. B at 20.) The State dismissed count 1. ( Id. ) Kraemer unsuccessfully moved for a new trial. He was sentenced to 13 years' imprisonment on April 24, 2006. ( Id. )

II. Direct Appeal

Kraemer appealed his conviction and sentence to the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, arguing that the trial court erred by admitting evidence of the 2004 incident at his trial for the 1998 incident, because the allegations regarding the 2004 incident do not tend to show absence of mistake and because he did not raise defenses of mistake or accident. (Pet. at 2.) The Appellate Court affirmed ...


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