United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. HERNDON JUDGE.
2010, a jury in McLean County, Illinois, convicted Corvell
Caldwell of one count of criminal sexual assault. He was
sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. Caldwell filed a petition
for habeas relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2254, Doc.
As construed on preliminary review, Doc. 6, the petition
raises the following grounds:
1. The state's closing and rebuttal arguments improperly
shifted the burden of proof from the state to petitioner,
thereby denying him a fair trial in violation of the
2. The evidence was insufficient to convict petitioner,
violating the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause.
argues that both grounds are procedurally defaulted.
Facts and Procedural History
state court's factual findings are presumed to be correct
unless rebutted by clear and convincing evidence, which
petitioner has not done. 28 U.S.C. §2254(e).
to the description by the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth
District, in its Rule 23 Order affirming on direct appeal,
the victim, Brian S., was a student at Illinois State
University. Brian went out drinking with friends in several
bars in downtown Bloomington, Illinois, on the evening of the
crime. Brian became separated from his friends and began
walking home. Petitioner, who did not know Brian, offered him
a ride back to campus. Instead of taking him back to campus,
petitioner convinced Brian to go to a strip club, where Brian
drank a shot of whiskey. The two men got back in the car, and
Brian passed out. When he awoke, he was still in the
passenger's seat. Petitioner was outside the passenger
side door, performing oral sex on Brian. Petitioner also
testified. He admitted giving Brian a ride and going to the
strip club. He testified that, while he was driving back to
Bloomington from the club, the victim placed petitioner's
hand on his crotch. Petitioner denied placing his mouth on
the victim's penis. See, People v. Caldwell,
Order on Direct Appeal, Doc. 15, Ex. 1.
State Court Proceedings
filed a post-trial motion in which he raised, among other
points, a claim that the state filed to prove him guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt. Doc. 15, Ex. 7, p. 69.
raised two claims on direct appeal: (1) the state's
closing and rebuttal arguments improperly shifted the burden
of proof to petitioner; and (2) a $5.00 State Police OP
Assistance fee was improperly imposed. See, Defendant's
Brief on Direct Appeal, Doc. 15, Ex. 2.
filed a pro se petition for leave to appeal to the Supreme
Court of Illinois asking the Supreme Court “to review
all points of the Appellate Court.” Doc. 15, Ex. 6. The
Supreme Court denied leave to appeal on May 29, 2013. Doc.
15, Ex. 5.
did not file a state postconviction petition. His federal
habeas petition was filed approximately eight months after
the Supreme Court of ...