United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
WILLIAM R. AINSWORTH, Petitioner,
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCI FAYETTE, and DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF BUTLER COUNTY, Respondents.
R. Hornak Judge.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
MAUREEN P. KELLY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
respectfully recommended that the Petition Under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254 for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State
Custody (the “Petition”), ECF No. 3, be dismissed
and that a Certificate of Appealability be denied.
November 20, 2012, William R. Ainsworth
(“Petitioner”) pleaded guilty to one count of
involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, forty-eight counts of
sexual abuse of children, twelve counts of criminal
solicitation, three counts of criminal attempt (unlawful
contact), eight counts of unlawful contact with a minor, and
nine counts of criminal use of a communication facility.
Pursuant to the plea agreement, the prosecution recommended
an aggregate sentence of 14 to 28 years of incarceration to
be followed by 16 years of probation. The Court of Common
Pleas of Butler County sentenced Petitioner according to the
plea agreement. Because neither of the two Grounds for Relief
raised in the Petition merits relief, the instant Petition
should be dismissed. Because jurists of reason would not
disagree with the disposition of this case, a Certificate of
Appealability should be denied.
State Court history
Pennsylvania Superior Court summarized the procedural history
of the case in state court in its Memorandum, dated July 26,
2016, as follows:
Appellant, William R. Ainsworth, appeals pro se from the
April 20, 2015 order denying his first petition filed
pursuant to the Post Conviction Relief Act
(“PCRA”), 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 9541-9546. We
Pursuant to a negotiated plea, Appellant pled guilty on
November 20, 2012, to one count of involuntary deviate sexual
intercourse, forty-eight counts of sexual abuse of children,
twelve counts of criminal solicitation, three counts of
criminal attempt (unlawful contact), eight counts of unlawful
contact with a minor, and nine counts of criminal use of
communication facility. N.T. (Plea), 11/20/12, at 3, 8-9. In
exchange for the plea, the Commonwealth agreed to recommend
an aggregate sentence of not less than fourteen years to not
more than twenty-eight years of imprisonment, followed by a
period of sixteen years of probation. Id. at 3-4.
The trial court agreed to the Commonwealth's recommended
sentence and sentenced Appellant accordingly. N.T.
(Sentencing), 4/29/13, at 21-25. Appellant did not file a
post-sentence motion or a direct appeal.
Appellant filed a timely pro se PCRA petition on April 30,
2014, alleging ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The
PCRA court appointed counsel, who filed a petition to
withdraw and a Turner/Finley no-merit
letter. The PCRA court, noting that it conducted an
independent review of the record, granted counsel's
motion to withdraw on March 27, 2015, and denied
Appellant's PCRA petition on April 20, 2015. Appellant
filed a timely notice of appeal. Both Appellant and the PCRA
court complied with Pa.R.A.P. 1925.
Rule 1925(b) statement, Appellant raised the following four
issues, which we set forth verbatim:
a. Judge McCune erred when he failed to hold a Evidentiary
Hearing to explore the fact that, Defendant never signed a
copy of the plea agreement, and that he was never given the
opportunity to call anyone to speak on his behalf at the
sentencing proceedings, since he received absoutely no notice
of the day he would be sentennced and as to why five months
went by between the time defendant plead guilty until he was
b. Defednant never had the opportunity to review all of his
discovery, since when he did review a small portion of it,
the Assistant Attorney Genreal and two Sheriff personal were
in the same room, which ensured no private conversation with
his attorney, Attorney Schults.
c. Defendant sent PCRA counsel, Attorney Harris, a letter
explaining he never spoke to his Attorney Schults in private
concerning discovery, statements, etc., that he did not
understand his sentence, since he did not make a knowing and
intellegent plea of guilt, due to the bad advice, Attorney
Schultz, gave him to plead guilty; and that his statments
were given to him without issueing him warnings pursuant to
Miranda v. Arizona, warnings, therefore, defendant
did not know he could have counsel present.
d. Defendant has requested copies of the transcripts, and all
discovery in this case nad has not received it, and is in no
position to properly litigate this case to file his PCRA, to
object to Counsel's no merit letter, this Court's
Notice of Intent to Dismiss, or to properly file, this.
Statement of ...