United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Honorable Edmond E. Chang United States District Judge.
Lee has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus,
challenging his 1996 state-court convictions for rape and
kidnapping. He argues that his lawyer did not provide
effective assistance, in violation of the Sixth Amendment
right to counsel. R. 96, Am. Pet. The state responds that Lee
cannot obtain relief because the Illinois Appellate Court
rejected Lee's claim on the merits, and did not
unreasonably apply federal law. R. 107, Answer at 15. The
Court agrees: the Illinois Appellate Court's decision on
Lee's ineffective-assistance claim was not unreasonable,
so Lee's habeas petition must be denied. But because it
is a close enough question, a certificate of appealability
Lee was convicted in a bench trial of kidnapping and raping a
woman, whom the parties refer to as L.M. At trial, the only
defense witness was Lee himself. Defense counsel did not call
five witnesses who Lee says would have corroborated his
version of the events (or at least parts of Lee's
version). Counsel's failure to call-and, Lee asserts, to
even investigate-the five witnesses is the basis of this
habeas petition. To understand how those witnesses might have
fit into the case, it is necessary to learn about the
Trial Court Proceedings
The State's Case
state's first witness, Teresa Baragas, testified that, at
around 3 o'clock in the morning on April 15, 1995, she
awoke to hear a young woman banging on her door. Am. Pet.
Exh. 5, Trial Tr. Vol. B at 13:22-14:14:8. The young woman,
whom Baragas identified as L.M., was screaming and saying
that she had been raped. Id. at 14:21-24. Baragas
testified that L.M. was completely naked and that she had
black eyes and her face was “marked up and
scarred.” Id. at 14:10-20.
the state called L.M. She testified that, in the early
morning hours of April 15, 1995, she argued with a friend at
the Sweet Water Lounge in Calumet City. Am. Pet. Exh. 5,
Trial Tr. Vol. B at 18:5-19:2. L.M. left the lounge around
1:00 a.m. and began to walk down State Street toward her
sister's house. Id. at 18:13-18. As she was
walking, she was approached by two men in a Cadillac, who
asked whether she needed a ride. L.M. declined. Id.
at 19:6-12. The car pulled away, but it soon turned around
and pulled over. Id. at 19:19-24. The passenger,
Burlmon Manley, got out of the car and grabbed L.M. from
behind. L.M. testified that she kicked and screamed, but that
Manley bound her hands and dragged her into the back seat of
the Cadillac. Id. at 20:6-24. L.M. identified Lee as
the driver of the Cadillac. Id. at 21:24.
testified that the two men took her to a liquor store or
lounge in Hammond, Indiana. Am. Pet. Exh. 5 Trial Tr. Vol. B
at 22:6-7. She stated that Lee went into the store to get
drinks while Manley remained in the back seat with her and
kissed and fondled her without consent. Id. at
22:14-23:24. Lee then drove the car back to Chicago.
Id. at 25:1-18. During the drive, Manley and L.M.
had a conversation about Manley's job and their
birthdays. Id. at 26:7-12. Manley also asked whether
L.M. had ever been with a black man, and continued to stroke
and kiss her despite her protests. Id. at 26:7-27:5.
eventually parked the car in an unfamiliar place. Lee got out
of the driver's seat and into the back seat next to L.M.
Am. Pet. Exh. 5 Trial Tr. Vol. B at 28:16-29:17. Lee began to
pull off L.M.'s clothing, hitting her in the head with
his fists when she told him to stop. Id. at
29:19-30:22. Lee then forced L.M.'s head down into
Manley's lap and forced her to perform oral sex on
Manley. Id. at 31:18-32:11. At some point, Lee left
the car and went into a nearby “crack house.”
Id. at 32:22-23. After several minutes of oral sex,
Manley pushed L.M. onto her back in the back seat and
vaginally raped her. Id. at 33:12-34:14. About five
minutes later, Lee came back to the car and beat L.M. again
with his fist, swearing at her and striking her in the head
and face ten to fifteen times. Id. at 34:17-36:6.
Lee threatened to take L.M. into the crack house and sell her
to the men inside, who, according to Lee, would rape and kill
her. Id. at 36:10-13.
further testified that Lee became more and more angry that
L.M. was “hysterical, ” and told Manley
“fuck this bitch, go in the trunk and get the
nine.” Am. Pet. Exh. 5 Trial Tr. Vol. B at 38:21-39:4.
Manley got out of the car and got a handgun from the trunk.
Id. at 39:6-7. Manley gave the gun to Lee, who held
it to L.M.'s forehead as he raped her vaginally and
anally. Id. at 39:6-42:4. L.M. testified that she
had bruises on her back and sides from Lee forcing her down
in the back seat. Id. at 42:22-24. At some point,
Manley, who had been driving, stopped the car and had an
argument with Lee. Id. at 43:11-44:17. Lee got back
in the driver's seat and Manley left the car and went
into a building. Id. at 45:4-10. Lee drove another
few blocks, then stopped the car again. Id. at
45:24-46:2. Lee reclined the driver's seat, and, still
holding the gun, told L.M. “okay, bitch, you are going
to suck me off now.” Id. at 46:4-23. Lee
pushed L.M.'s head down and forced her to perform oral
sex until he ejaculated. Id. at 47:1-48:3. At this
point, L.M. realized that Lee had dropped the gun.
Id. at 48:10-11. Seeing her chance, L.M. started
striking Lee in the face. Id. at 48:18-23. During
the scuffle, L.M. was able to open the door and tumble out of
the car. Id. at 49:5-10. Lee “took off like a
maniac, ” and L.M. ran to a nearby house and started
beating on the door, naked and screaming for help.
Id. at 49:19-50:9. Teresa Baragas answered the door
and called the police. Id. at 50:10-16.
state introduced photographs of L.M. taken in the days after
the attack. The photographs showed evidence of a severe
beating: L.M.'s eyes were blackened, and her nose and
mouth were swollen. Am. Pet. Exh. 5 Trial Tr. Vol. B at
51:19-22. Another photograph showed bite marks on L.M.'s
left hand, which resulted in a permanent scar. Id.
at 53:16-21. Other photographs showed bruising on L.M.'s
back and arms from being restrained and forced down.
Id. at 55:8-17.
the state called Detective Robert Morrison, who read a
written statement given by Lee during police interrogation.
Am. Pet. Exh. 6, Trial Tr. Vol. C at 8:18-20. In the
statement, Lee related that Manley had consensual sex with
L.M. in Lee's car, and that L.M. had performed oral sex
on Lee in exchange for an offer of drugs. Id. at
14:4-15:17. Finally, the state presented evidence of
Lee's prior felony stalking conviction. Id. at
trial counsel called only Lee himself as a witness. Lee
testified that L.M. got into the car voluntarily after she
spoke with Manley for a few minutes. Am. Pet. Exh. 7, Trial
Tr. Vol. D at 59:19-24. L.M. directed them to Dad's
liquor store in Hammond, Indiana. Id. at 60:13-61:9.
At the liquor store, Manley and Lee both got out of the car
and went inside, leaving L.M. alone in the car for about 20
minutes. Id. at 61:18-62:17. Lee testified that he
left his keys in the car with L.M. Id. at 62:2-5.
The group then drove to L.M.'s house in Hammond so that
L.M. could drop something off. Id. at 63:13-18.
three returned to Chicago, where they stopped to let L.M. buy
marijuana from a street dealer. Am. Pet. Exh. 7, Trial Tr.
Vol. D at 64:4-6. They continued to Merrill Park, where they
sat around drinking and talking. Id. at 64:7-17. At
the park, L.M. and Lee got into a fight because L.M. put out
a cigarette on the carpet of Lee's car. Id. at
64:19-6. Lee swore at L.M. and hit her on the head.
Id. at. 66:6-67:10. The two fought, and Lee punched
L.M. and bit her. Id. at 67:17-22.
out of the car and sat on a nearby stump drinking beer for
about 30 minutes. Am. Pet. Exh. 7, Trial Tr. Vol. D at
68:5-14. Manley got out of the car and asked if Lee had
condoms, and Lee gave Manley two condoms from the trunk.
Id. at 69:20-70:1. Lee waited on the stump another
20 or 30 minutes. Id. at 70:13-14. When he came back
to the car, he saw Manley lying on top of L.M. Id.
at 70:21-24. Lee got into the car and drove to 84th and
Buffalo, where Manley got out. Id. at 71:13-20.
Manley left the car, L.M., who was naked, got into the front
passenger seat. Am. Pet. Exh. 7, Trial Tr. Vol. D at 72:2-9.
According to Lee, L.M. abruptly hit him in the eye, jumped
out of the car, and said “you bastards are going to pay
for this.” Id. at 72:11-15. Lee testified that
he never had intercourse or oral sex with L.M. Id.
at 72:19-23. On redirect, Lee's counsel asked about
Lee's statement to police (in which he stated that he
asked L.M. to perform oral sex on him). Lee explained that he
was not ...