The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hillman, District Judge
Petitioner Kenneth Ashbridge, a convicted state prisoner currently confined at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel, New Jersey, has submitted a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his 1998 New Jersey state court conviction and sentence. For the reasons stated herein, the Petition will be dismissed as time-barred.
I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND This matter arises out of some ten instances in which petitioner Kenneth Ashbridge ("Ashbridge") engaged in various acts of aggravated sexual assault (including fellatio, cunnilingus, and penile and digital penetration of the victim's vagina) of petitioner's biological daughter over a three and one-half year period from January 1993 to June 1996, beginning when the victim was about three years old.
On September 17, 1996, the Deputy Clerk of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Cape May County, filed Indictment # 96-09-509-I. (Ra1,*fn1 Indictment). The Indictment charged Ashbridge and B.G. with ten counts of second degree endangering the welfare of a child (N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a); ten counts of second degree conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child (N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a; ten counts of first degree aggravated sexual assault (N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2a; and ten counts of first degree conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual assault (N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2a. (Ra1).
On July 17, 1997, Ashbridge pled guilty to all forty counts of the Indictment pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement.
(Ra15, Plea Transcript 1T). In exchange for the plea agreement, the State had agreed to recommend dismissal of a separate indictment relating to defendant's sexual abuse of another child, but did not agree to recommend a sentence. (Ra10 at pg. 2). On January 20, 1998, the Honorable Carmen H. Alvarez, J.S.C., sentenced Ashbridge to an aggregate term of 30 years in prison with a 15-year period of parole ineligibility. (Ra16, Sentence Transcript 2T).
Ashbridge did not file a direct appeal from his sentence or conviction. However, on January 14, 2003, Ashbridge filed a petition for post-conviction relief ("PCR") in state court. (Ra4). On February 4, 2003, the Honorable Raymond A. Batten, J.S.C., summarily denied Ashbridge's PCR petition. (Ra6 at Da64). On June 18, 2003, Ashbridge filed a Notice of Appeal to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. (Ra6 at Da65). On July 14, 2003, Judge Batten filed an amplification and clarification of his prior decision in denying the PCR petition. (Ra6 at Da66-67). Assigned counsel for Ashbridge thereafter filed a Notice of Motion for Limited Remand on August 13, 2003. (Ra6 at Da68). On September 8, 2003, the Appellate Division summarily reversed and vacated Judge Batten's denial of Ashbridge's first PCR petition. The matter was remanded for reconsideration after referral to the Office of the Public Defender for representation. (Ra6 at Da76).
On July 8, 2005, Judge Batten heard oral argument on the PCR petition, and denied the petition. (Ra17, PCR Transcript 3T). An Order denying the PCR petition was entered on July 27, 2005. (Ra6 at Da207). Ashbridge appealed from denial of his PCR petition.
On April 7, 2008, the Appellate Division affirmed denial of post-conviction relief, rejecting all of petitioner's arguments. (Ra10). The Supreme Court of New Jersey denied certification on September 5, 2008. (Ra13). The Supreme Court of the United States denied Ashbridge's petition for a writ of certiorari on January 26, 2009. (Ra14).
Ashbridge filed this habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 on or about June 22, 2009.*fn2
Ashbridge raises the following claims for habeas relief in his petition:
Ground One: Defective indictment vitiates petitioner's guilty plea and makes petitioner's sentence and conviction illegal.
Ground Two: Ineffective assistance of counsel during plea and failure of counsel to challenge the sufficiency of the indictment, ...