United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Jesse Rouse, an inmate in the custody of the Bureau of
Prisons, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28
U.S.C. § 2241 challenging his 1994 conviction for
aggravated sexual abuse of a minor. Now before the Court is
Rous's amended petition under § 2241 (Doc. 6).
was convicted by a jury in the District Court of South Dakota
of two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a minor in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2241(c) and was sentenced to
thirty-three years imprisonment. As grounds for habeas
relief, Rouse claims that he has new evidence that shows he
is actually innocent. The new evidence consists of affidavits
purportedly from his victims stating that he never abused
argues that petitioner is precluded from bringing a
§2241 petition because the evidence is not new and
petitioner raised this claim years ago in a motion for new
Relevant Facts and Procedural History
direct appeal, a divided panel of the Eighth Circuit
initially reversed and remanded for a new trial. United
States v. Rouse, 100 F.3d 560, 566 (8th Cir. 1996).
However, the Eighth Circuit granted rehearing and affirmed
the convictions. United States v. Rouse, 111 F.3d
561 (8th Cir. 1997).
facts giving underlying petitioner's conviction are
described in detail in the Eighth Circuit's opinion
affirming the convictions after rehearing. Rouse, his
brother, and two cousins were convicted of sexually abusing
young female relatives on the Yankton Sioux Indian
The victims are granddaughters of Rosemary Rouse. During the
summer and fall of 1993, defendants lived at Rosemary's
home on the Yankton Sioux Reservation. The victims also lived
or spent a great deal of time at this home. In October 1993,
five-year-old R.R. was placed with Donna Jordan, an
experienced foster parent, due to neglect and malnutrition.
R.R. disclosed apparent sexual abuse to Jordan, who reported
to the Tribe's Department of Social Services
(“DSS”) (as Jordan was required to do) that R.R.
said she had been sexually abused. On January 10, 1994, DSS
told Jordan to take R.R. to therapist Ellen Kelson. After an
initial interview, Kelson reported to DSS (as Kelson was
required to do) that R.R. had reported acts of sexual abuse
against herself and other children in the Rouse home. On
January 11, DSS removed thirteen children living in the Rouse
home and placed them in Jordan's foster home. Of the four
who disclosed sexual abuse by their uncles, T.R. was seven
years old, L.R. was six, R.R. was five, and J.R. was four and
one-half. The fifth victim of the alleged offenses, F. R.,
was a twenty-month-old infant.
Rouse, 111 F.3d at 565.
children were examined by two physicians who found physical
injuries consistent with sexual abuse. The evidence at trial
included the testimony of the four oldest children and
another child who witnessed acts of abuse, medical evidence,
medical experts for the government and for the defense, and
the testimony of an FBI agent who interviewed the children.
Id, at 566. Petitioner was ultimately convicted of
abusing T.R. and J.R. Rouse, 100 F.3d at 566.
February 1997, petitioner and his co-defendants filed a
motion for new trial in their criminal case, alleging that
the victims had recanted their testimony. United States
v. Rouse, Case No. 94-cr-40015-LLP (D.S.D, February 19,
the motion for new trial was pending, Rouse filed a motion to
vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
§ 2255. Rouse did not argue in this motion that the
victims had testified falsely or had recanted their
testimony. The motion was denied as untimely on September 20,
1999. Rouse did not appeal. Rouse v. United States,
Case No. 98-cv-4213-LLP (D. S.D. Sept. 20, 1999).
district court held a lengthy evidentiary hearing on the
motion for new trial. The four older victims and the child
who witnessed the abuse ...