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Johnson v. Mazurkiewicz

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

March 25, 2014

SOLOMON JOHNSON Petitioner
v.
JOSEPH MAZURKIEWICZ et al. Respondents

MEMORANDUM

J. WILLIAM DITTER, Jr., District Judge.

Presently before me is a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 by Solomon Johnson, an individual currently incarcerated in the Benner Township State Correctional Institution in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Johnson challenges his judgment of sentence for involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, intimidation of a witness/victim, simple assault, terroristic threats and false imprisonment. For the reasons that follow, the petition will be denied.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:

The state court summarized the facts leading to Johnson's arrest as follows:

On the evening of Saturday, September 18, 2004, [Johnson] restrained and assaulted his girlfriend for more than 45 minutes in the bedroom of her home in Landenberg, Chester County, Pennsylvania. At approximately 9:30 p.m., [Johnson] told his girlfriend (hereinafter, "the victim") that he wanted to go to a liquor store. When the victim responded that she had already planned to use their one car (which belonged to her) to go to the grocery store, [Johnson] became angry. He locked the bedroom door so that the victim could not leave the room. He then grabbed the victim by the neck, pushed her onto the bed, and struck her repeatedly about the head, back, chest and ribs. During the course of the assault, he threatened, among other things, to "break her up." He also required her to repeat, after him, that she would listen to him, do whatever he said, and have sex with him whenever he wanted her to.
Fearing for her life, the victim attempted to calm [Johnson]. She stated that she was sorry and that the situation was "all her fault." When she offered to accompany [Johnson] to the liquor store, he let her up to get her shoes. Once she stood up, however, [Johnson] stated, "I don't think you learned your lesson yet[, ]" N.T., 8/7/06, at 30, and threw her back onto the bed. He resumed punching her in the back and rib cage area, and at one point he struck her in the eye. While the victim was "curled up trying to protect [her] face[, ]" id. at 31, [Johnson] held a tall metal lamp over her head in a menacing manner.
As a result of the physical assault, the victim suffered bruising around her torso, broken ribs, and a black eye. When [Johnson] saw that the victim's eye had blackened, he became even angrier and told her, "I should just fuck you up the rest of the way." N.T., 8/7/06, at 31-32. As soon as the punching stopped and the victim was able to stand up, [Johnson] pulled his pants down and forced the victim to perform oral sex on him. [Johnson] then took a knife from a bedroom drawer and threatened to kill the victim's dogs, which he had locked in the family room prior to the assault.
Shortly thereafter, while still in a state of shock, the victim left her house and drove [Johnson] to two liquor stores and a grocery store. She testified that she did not call the police because [Johnson] "was threatening [her] the whole time that... if he went to jail that every day he spent in jail was the same amount of days that [she] was going to spend in the intensive care unit." N.T., 8/7/06, at 37. [Johnson] also told her that "his first phone call from jail would be to some of his friends in Philadelphia that would come down and finish [her] off." Id. at 38.
On the morning of Monday, September 20, 2004, the victim called a friend, Leny Hugh, and asked Ms. Hugh to meet her at her workplace. When Ms. Hugh arrived, she found the victim "crying hysterically" and observed the victim's bruising and black eye. N.T., 8/7/06, at 90-91. The victim informed Ms. Hugh that, over the weekend, [Johnson] had locked her in a room, physically assaulted her, and forced her to perform oral sex on him. Id. at 91, 93. Later in the day, the victim was taken to Christiana Hospital for examination and, while there, was interviewed by police.

Commonwealth v. Johnson, No. 4505-04, at 1-3 (Chester. Ct. Com. Pl. June 15, 2010). After a jury trial in the Chester County Court of Common Pleas, Johnson was found guilty of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, intimidation of a witness/victim, simple assault, terroristic threats and false imprisonment. On December 8, 2006, he was sentenced to an aggregate term of 90 to 186 months of imprisonment followed by 5 years of probation.

Johnson's direct appeal to the Superior Court was dismissed on October 2, 2008, for failure to file a brief. Commonwealth v. Johnson, No. 2298 EDA 2007 (Pa.Super. Oct. 2, 2008) (unpublished memorandum). On August 6, 2009, Johnson filed a pro se petition under Pennsylvania's Post Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA"), 42 Pa. Con. Stat. § 9541, et seq. Appointed counsel filed an amended PCRA petition. The PCRA court dismissed Johnson's petition on April 9, 2010.

Johnson appealed to the Pennsylvania Superior Court claiming:

1) ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence;
2) ineffective assistance of counsel for admitting an audio transcribed statement into evidence;
3) ineffective assistance of counsel for advising Johnson on crimes of crimen falsi;
4) ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to examine the sentencing file;
5) ineffective assistance of counsel for basing his defense on the Commonwealth's file;
6) his due process rights were violated when trial counsel was allowed to withdraw; and
7) the Commonwealth lacked subject matter jurisdiction.

The Superior Court affirmed the denial of PCRA relief on March 2, 2011. Commonwealth v. Johnson, No. 1288 EDA 2010 (Pa.Super. March 2, 2011).

On March 29, 2011, Johnson attempted to file a petition for allowance of appeal with the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania; however, his case was dismissed on August ...


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