The opinion of the court was delivered by: William J. Martini, U.S.D.J.
Petitioner O'Neil Barclay ("Barclay"), a prisoner currently confined at the New Jersey State Prison, has submitted a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
For the reasons stated herein, the petition is DENIED.
The facts of this case have been recounted in prior proceedings and this Court, affording the state court's factual determinations the appropriate deference, see 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1), will simply summarize the relevant facts as follows:*fn1
Petitioner and the victim were co-workers who had a romantic relationship prior to the incident upon which Petitioner's convictions are based. On May 22, 1995, the evening of the incident, another of the victim's co-workers, Paul Haun, told the victim that Petitioner was looking for her and that he was agitated. When she arrived home, the victim attempted to avoid a confrontation by parking her car in the back lot of the apartment complex and running to her apartment. However, Petitioner intercepted her. He threw her onto the stairs, called her obscene names, slapped her, and threatened her with a knife.
As Petitioner attempted to pull the victim through the entrance to the apartment, Haun stepped in between them. Petitioner then struck the victim with the butt of the knife and punched Haun in the face. At this point, the victim was able to escape, run into her apartment and lock the door. However, while she was attempting to telephone for assistance, Petitioner dove through her bedroom window with the knife in his hand. He then dragged the victim out the door of her apartment. The victim broke free again, but Petitioner caught her and punched her in the eye, causing it to swell shut. Petitioner then sexually assaulted the victim, ripping her clothes off, and penetrating her both vaginally and anally with his fingers. When she attempted to resist by digging her fingernails into his neck, he bit her left thigh.
Petitioner then dragged her away from the apartment holding the knife to her throat. He told her not to scream or he would kill her. Petitioner took the victim to a wooded area, where he forced her to perform fellatio on him. He also ordered her to remove her remaining clothing. When she refused, he stuck the knife into a tree directly over her head and removed them herself. He then penetrated her both anally and vaginally.
When the two returned to the apartment complex, the police, responding to a call from the victim's co-workers concerning the assault, stopped and arrested Petitioner. The victim told the police Petitioner had raped her. She took the officers to the wooded area, where she showed them the tree with Petitioner's knife stuck in it and her panties. The victim was later taken to a hospital, where the treating physician found swelling and bruising in her left eye, which was swollen shut, abrasions to her lower lip and knees, a bite mark on her left thigh, swelling to the left ear, slight redness in the vulva, hymen and external vagina, and redness on the neck, shoulder, upper back and right buttock.
After his arrest, Petitioner was given Miranda warnings, which he waived both orally and in writing. Petitioner subsequently gave the police two transcribed oral statements concerning the incident. The first was mostly exculpatory. In that statement, Petitioner acknowledged forcibly entering the victim's apartment and admitted that he might have hit her, but claimed he did so unintentionally. He also acknowledged that he possessed a knife, but claimed that after their initial violent confrontation, the victim had voluntarily agreed to leave the apartment with him and that all of their sexual activity that evening had been consensual.
Four hours later the police questioned Petitioner again and confronted him with inconsistencies between his story and what they had been told by the victim and Haun. The police also informed Petitioner that they had discovered, contrary to his representations in the first interview, that he had an extensive criminal record. At this time, Petitioner gave a transcribed oral statement which substantially agreed with the victim's description of the kidnapping and sexual assaults.
A week later, the investigating police officers brought both transcribed statements to Petitioner, asking him to review them, make any changes, initial each page and sign at the end. Petitioner complied as to his first statement. However, Petitioner refused to sign his second statement, saying "this make[s] me look like a motherfucking bad guy." One of the police officers wrote Petitioner's remark on the unsigned second statement.
Plaintiff was convicted on June 6, 1997 on nine counts including second-degree burglary, first-degree kidnapping, three counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, third-degree terroristic threats, and third-degree possession of the weapon for unlawful purpose. Petitioner received an aggregate prison term of fifty eight years and three months. Petitioner's appeal of his conviction and sentence was upheld on November 1, 1999, with the exception that the Appellate Division merged his conviction for possession of a weapon with his conviction for making terroristic threats. The New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification in May 2000. Thereafter, Petitioner filed for post-conviction relief, which the Superior Court of New Jersey denied in November 2001. The Appellate Division and Supreme Court both affirmed the denial.
Plaintiff now files this petition for habeas corpus alleging various evidentiary errors by the trial court, excessiveness in his sentence, a conviction against the weight of the evidence, ineffective assistance of counsel both at trial and on appeal, and unconstitutional accumulation of errors.
As amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), 28 U.S.C. § 2254 now ...