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United States ex rel. Shavers v. Good

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

April 8, 2014

GEORGE GOOD, Warden, Respondent

For Romalice Shavers, United States of America, ex rel., Petitioner: Jennifer Lynne Blagg, Blagg Law, Chicago, IL.

For Zach Roeckeman, Respondent: Erin Maureen O'Connell, LEAD ATTORNEY, Illinois Attorney General's Office (100 W), Chicago, IL.


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Ruben Castillo, Chief United States District Judge.


Illinois prisoner Romalice Shavers (" Petitioner" ) is serving a 14-year sentence for home invasion, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and unlawful restraint. Petitioner is currently in the custody of George Good (" Respondent" ), the warden of Taylorville Correctional Center.[1] Presently before the Court is Petitioner's petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (" Petition" ). For the reasons stated below, the Court denies the Petition and declines to issue a certificate of appealability.


On January 18, 2006, Petitioner was arrested at his home after his former girlfriend, C.M., called the police and reported that Petitioner had entered her home without permission earlier that day and sexually assaulted her. People v. Shavers, 409 Ill.App.3d 1158, 377 Ill.Dec. 749, 2 N.E.3d 665, 2011 WL 9685828, at *1 (Ill.App.Ct. 1st Dist. 2011). Petitioner was taken to Area One police headquarters. Id. While in custody, he gave a

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statement to Detective Anthony Flowers of the Chicago Police Department and Assistant State's Attorney (ASA) Meg O'Sullivan, which ASA O'Sullivan put into a writing that was signed by Petitioner. Id. Petitioner was charged in a five-count indictment with home invasion in violation of 720 ILCS 5/12-11(a)(6), two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault in violation of 720 ILCS 5/12-14(a)(1) and 14(a)(4), criminal sexual assault in violation of 720 ILCS 5/12-13(a)(1), and unlawful restraint in violation of 720 ILCS 5/10-3. 2 N.E.3d 665, Id. at *2.

I. Pre-trial Proceedings

Petitioner pleaded an affirmative defense that C.M. had consented to their sexual encounter on January 18, 2006. Id. On November 2, 2006, Petitioner filed a motion to suppress his statement to the police, which the trial court in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, denied. Id. On March 9, 2007, Petitioner filed a motion in limine seeking to cross-examine C.M. about her prior sexual history with him and to permit him to introduce evidence of his prior sexual history with C.M. Id. Specifically, Petitioner sought to elicit testimony and evidence showing that he and C.M. had a 12-year relationship, dating from 1995 to the date of the incident, and that they had sex at C.M.'s home several times a month, most recently in early January 2006, and three or four times in December 2005. Id. In response, the State acknowledged that C.M. and Petitioner had been involved in a relationship that began in 1995 and ended in May 2005. (R. 15, Ex. B, Proceedings on Mot. in Lim. at C48.) The State also acknowledged that C.M. had two sexual encounters with Petitioner between May 2005 and January 2006--once in late November 2005, and once in early December 2005. Shavers, 2 N.E.3d 665, 2011 WL 9685828, at *2. The State asserted that those encounters were not consensual, however, and that on those occasions, as on January 18, 2006, Petitioner had forced C.M. into a chair and had sex with her against her will. Id. The State asked the court to deny the motion in limine or, in the alternative, to permit C.M. to testify about the sexual encounters in November 2005 and December 2005. Id.

The trial court held a hearing on Petitioner's motion in limine on May 22, 2008, and issued its ruling on June 30, 2008. 2 N.E.3d 665, Id. at *3. The court held that the defense could present evidence and question C.M. about her and Petitioner's relationship from 1995 to May 2005. (R. 15, Ex. B, Proceedings on Mot. in Lim. at GG4-5.) The court also held that the defense could question C.M. about whether she had sex with Petitioner in December 2005 and early January 2006, and whether that sex was consensual. ( Id. at GG9.)

II. Trial

The one-day bench trial was held on October 16, 2008. Shavers, 2 N.E.3d 665, 2011 WL 9685828, at *3. C.M. testified that on January 18, 2006, she woke up some time between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and saw Petitioner standing over her in her bedroom. Id. She said that she was surprised to see Petitioner because he did not have a key or permission to enter her house. Id. She asked Petitioner how he had gotten in and he told her that he had come in through the back door. Id. C.M. testified that Petitioner attempted to get into bed with her, and she tried to push him out and asked him to leave. Id. Petitioner asked C.M. if he could use her telephone, and she consented. Id. After Petitioner finished making his call, C.M. asked him to leave again, but he refused. Id. When she tried to walk Petitioner toward her bedroom door, he grabbed her and she hit him in the head with the telephone. Id. C.M. said that she and Petitioner tussled in the

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hallway, and then Petitioner pushed her into her daughter's bedroom and threw her down on an air mattress. Id. Petitioner got on top of her and put his arm on her chest. Id. C.M. told Petitioner that she could not breathe, and he eventually let her go. Id. C.M. testified that she then went toward the stairs and Petitioner came up behind her and tried to grab her around the neck. Id. Petitioner tried to pin her down and C.M. told him that if he let her go, she would have sex with him. Id. Once Petitioner let C.M. go, she ran toward the stairs, but Petitioner caught her and they again began to tussle. Id. When they finally got down the stairs, Petitioner threw her onto a chair in the living room. Id. C.M. said that her back was to the chair and Petitioner held her down with his forearm across her chest. Id. C.M. testified that she was only wearing a robe and that Petitioner unzipped his pants and put his penis into her vagina. Id. C.M. said that Petitioner was not wearing a condom, and he ejaculated inside of her and then went into the bathroom. Id.

C.M. testified that she ran to the phone and called 911. 2 N.E.3d 665, Id. at *4. Petitioner then came back into the room and hung up the phone. Id. The 911 operator called back, and while C.M. was on the phone with the operator, Petitioner went into the kitchen, picked up a knife, and threatened to kill himself. Id. C.M. hung up the phone and ran out of her house. Id. She stood in front of her house waiting for the police to arrive and then went across the street to her neighbor's house. Id. C.M. testified that she told her neighbor what had happened and that about 10 to 15 minutes later, she and her neighbor returned to C.M.'s house and Petitioner was ...

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