United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JOHN W. DARRAH, District Judge.
Petitioner Otis Worley has filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the reasons provided below, his Petition [1, 4] is denied. The Court declines to certify any issues for appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).
When considering a petition made pursuant to § 2254, the factual determinations of the state court are presumed correct. Ford v. Wilson, 747 F.3d 944, 947 (7th Cir. 2014) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1)). Worley has made no attempt to rebut the following findings of the Illinois Appellate Court:
At trial in 2008, Helen H. testified that on September 22, 1996, she was a 17-year-old high school student living with her mother Patricia H. At about 7:30 a.m. that day, Helen was waiting for a bus at a stop on the same block as her home. She saw an unfamiliar man walking towards her but was unconcerned. The man then grabbed Helen in a headlock. Helen initially believed it was an acquaintance grabbing her as a prank, so she insisted he release her as she was on her way to work. However, the man produced a long kitchen knife and told Helen that he would cut her face if she did not stay quiet. The man forced Helen into an empty second-floor apartment in a nearby abandoned building. The man braced the apartment door with a wooden board and, as he was still holding the knife, told Helen to take her clothes off. When she did so, he sexually assaulted her twice. Afterwards he demanded her money and she handed him $50 cash and a transit pass. The man tried unsuccessfully to snap Helen's neck by twisting her head. When he tried to stab her in the stomach, she grabbed the knife by the blade and broke it. Helen struggled with the man, and when he went for the board at the door, Helen fled for a window. The man pushed her through the glass window
After Helen fell to the ground, she ran to her home nearby. Her mother called the police and Helen was brought to the hospital, where she received stitches on her hand from grabbing the knife and on her back, legs, and head from the window glass. She did not break any bones. As Dr. Scott Plantz was treating Helen, she told him that she had been attacked, forced into a building, and sexually assaulted. She also told Dr. Plantz that she did not have sexual intercourse in the 72 hours before the assault. Swabs were taken from Helen's mouth and vagina. Helen went to the police station that evening and viewed a lineup but could not identify anyone in it, nor did she identify anyone in subsequent photographic arrays over the next year. However, she identified [petitioner] as her attacker from a photographic array in October 2007. When asked to identify [Worley] in court, she was uncertain that [Worley] was her attacker, but she emphasized her confidence in the photo-array identification.
Helen denied knowing or dating [Worley]. She also denied that she attended church or social functions at a church in 1996, although she joined a particular neighborhood church in 1999. From that church, she knew pastor Willie Douglas as well as church musician Jason Douglas. She denied recalling that [Worley] or Ronald Dillard had come to her within a week of the assault to offer their assistance in finding the assailant.
Patricia H., Helen's mother, testified that Helen returned home about 15 minutes after leaving for work on the morning in question. She was bleeding and half-naked, and she seemed upset. After Helen spoke with her, Patricia called the police. Later, Patricia accompanied Helen to the hospital. Patricia denied that she or Helen were [sic] attending church in 1996.
Police detective John Clafford testified that he and another detective went to the hospital to interview Helen. She had multiple lacerations, and she described her assailant as a black male, 20 to 30 years' old, under six feet tall, and weighing about 160 or 170 pounds. Detective Clafford then went to the abandoned apartment building indicated by Helen, where he found a broken knife and some clothing. The apartment door frame and a wooden board near the door were tested for fingerprints but no useable prints were found. Three men found in another apartment in the building were brought to the police station and placed in a lineup, but Helen did not identify anyone in the lineup. She also did not identify anyone in subsequent lineups. The knife and clothing from the scene were destroyed three years after the incident in erroneous belief that they were evidence in a misdemeanor case. To the best of Detective Clafford's knowledge, the knife and clothing were not forensically tested before their destruction.
Detective Jose Alanis testified that he investigated this case from 2006 onward, including taking a cheek swab from [petitioner]. In October 2007, he showed Helen a photographic array, from which she identified [Worley] as her assailant. The photograph of [Worley] that Detective Alanis used in the array was from 1996.
The parties stipulated that Dr. Scott Plantz took swabs from Helen on the day of the incident, a proper chain of custody was maintained for the swabs, semen was found on the swabs, and a male DNA profile extracted from the swabs. The parties further stipulated that, when compared in 2006, [Worley's] DNA profile from his cheek swab matched the DNA profile from Helen's swabs.
The [trial] court denied [Worley's] motion for a directed finding.
[Worley] testified that, in September 1996, he had known Helen for several months. They both attended the same church in their neighborhood, and he and Helen formed a relationship. He had sex with her "off and on" at that time.
[Worley] did not see Helen on the day in question, but a day or two later he was selling drugs on the street near her home, as he did customarily, when he stopped because television news crews came to Helen's home regarding the incident.
[Worley] and his nephew Ronald Dillard then went to Helen; Helen told [Worley] that she would not have been attacked had he been present, and he assured her that they were looking for the assailant. However, they could not find the attacker.
Ronald Dillard, [Worley's] nephew, testified that he and [Worley] sold drugs in the neighborhood in question in 1996 and that he saw [Worley] dating Helen then. After the incident in question, Helen told [Worley] in Dillard's presence that she would not have been attacked had he been in the area that day.
[Worley] and Dillard told her that they were trying to find the assailant. Dillard admitted to convictions by guilty plea for possession of a controlled substance in 2007 and attempted robbery in 2006, as well as convictions in 2000 and 1999 for possession of a controlled substance. He also admitted that he regularly used as well as sold drugs in 1996.
Sonya Simpson, [Worley's] sister, testified that she saw [Worley] and Helen dating in the fall of 1996.
Felicia Black testified that [Worley] was the father of her son but she had no contact with him for two years before the trial. She knew [Worley] and Helen in the fall of 1996, and she saw Helen and [Worley] exiting Simpson's home together. Black knew that she saw Helen with [Worley] in 1996 rather than some later year because she (Black) was pregnant at the time and the child was born in August 1996. Black admitted to a 1999 conviction for a firearms offense.
Jason Douglas testified for [Worley] that he lived in the neighborhood where the incident occurred and attended the aforementioned church since well before 1996. He knew [Worley] and Helen, both of whom attended the church in 1996. On cross-examination, Douglas admitted to being a friend of [Worley] and that he was uncertain as to when Helen joined the church. He never saw [Worley] and Helen together nor had he ever heard that they had a relationship. On redirect, he explained that he presumed Helen was a member of the church at the time of the assault in 1996 because a youth pastor of the church prayed for her, and may have visited her, following the assault.
Following closing arguments, the court found [Worley] guilty of aggravated criminal sexual assault, expressly finding that Helen's testimony was credible.
Rule 23 Order, People v. Worley, No. 1-08-2348 (Ill.App.Ct. Apr. 26, 2010); (Respondent's Answer, Ex. A).
In his appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court, Worley argued exclusively that the state failed to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt because "[Helen] testified that her assailant was previously unknown to her, but where Worley presented overwhelming evidence that he had an intimate relationship with [Helen] prior to the attack." People v. Worley, No. 1-08-2348 (Ill.App.Ct. Apr. ...