Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sartin v. Taylor

Court of Appeals of Oregon

February 7, 2018

HOMER D. SARTIN, aka Homer David Sartin, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
Jeri TAYLOR, Superintendent, Two Rivers Correctional Institution, Defendant-Respondent.

          Submitted June 21, 2016

         Umatilla County Circuit Court CV120968 Joseph C. Guimond, Senior Judge.

          Jed Peterson and O'Connor Weber LLP fled the brief for appellant.

          Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Paul L. Smith, Deputy Solicitor General, and Greg Rios, Assistant Attorney General, fled the brief for respondent.

          Before DeVore, Presiding Judge, and Hadlock, Judge, and James, Judge.

         Case Summary:

         Petitioner, who was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse and invasion of personal privacy, appeals a judgment denying his petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, he argues that the post-conviction court erred by rejecting his claim that, both at trial and on appeal, he was denied the effective assistance of counsel, guaranteed by Article I, section 11, of the Oregon Constitution, and the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. He argues that his lawyers did not exercise reasonable professional skill and judgment when they each failed to challenge the admission of certain testimony on the ground that it was inadmissible "vouching" evidence.

         Held:

         The post-conviction court did not err by rejecting petitioner's claims for relief. Petitioner's trial lawyer objected to testimony that one of the victims had been "coached" in an interview, and petitioner did not explain what more his lawyer should have done after the trial court admitted the testimony for a limited purpose. Further, not every lawyer exercising reasonable professional skill and judgment would have understood the testimony about "no contact" treatment [290 Or. 64] recommendations for the victims to necessarily be based on abuse diagnoses, thereby constituting impermissible "vouching" testimony. Finally, petitioner failed to establish that, in his direct appeal, the Court of Appeals probably would have concluded that the trial court plainly erred in admitting the testimony about "no contact" treatment recommendations.

         Affirmed.

         [290 Or. 65] HADLOCK, J.

         Petitioner was convicted of sexually abusing a young girl and of invading the personal privacy of her teen-aged sister. After his convictions were affirmed on direct appeal, petitioner sought post-conviction relief, alleging that he had been denied constitutionally adequate assistance of counsel both at trial and on appeal because his lawyers had not challenged the admission of certain testimony on the ground that it was inadmissible "vouching" evidence. The post-conviction court denied relief on those claims. On appeal from the judgment denying post-conviction relief, we affirm.

         As explained in more detail below, we write to address only a limited number of the issues that petitioner raises on appeal. We therefore do not comprehensively describe the events that led to petitioner's convictions and to the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. Instead, we summarize only those facts pertinent to the issues that we address in this opinion; we do so in a manner consistent with the post-conviction court's implicit and explicit factual determinations.

         Petitioner lived with his girlfriend, Goings, and her two daughters, 16-year-old M and 7-year-old S. Goings and the girls' father were divorced. In early February 2010, M told her grandmother and her father's girlfriend, Foster, that petitioner had been touching her breasts. Foster alerted police the following day and an investigation ensued. A detective, McCuistion, interviewed M, S, and their mother at the family's home after petitioner had been taken to a police station. M was very upset and said she "couldn't believe that they had * * * told the police." M repeatedly expressed worry about how angry her mother would be at her; she also said "that they had just kind of exaggerated it and thought the worst and * * * she just didn't want to be taken away from her mom." However, M also reported having been abused by petitioner, telling McCuistion that petitioner had intentionally touched her on the vagina when she was in the eighth grade. M also reported that she had seen adult pornography on petitioner's computer.

         [290 Or. 66] McCuistion also questioned S, who did not disclose any abuse at that point. When McCuistion asked S whether a big person had ever touched her private areas, she looked at McCuistion for 25 to 30 seconds, with tears welling up in her eyes, then said that her dog is white.

         When McCuistion told Goings that M had confirmed some of the reported abuse, Goings did not exhibit any emotion or make any statements indicating concern. However, the Department of Human Services (DHS) planned at that point that the children could remain with their mother, who "was going to be protective of the children."

         Soon thereafter, M was evaluated at Juliet's House, which was described as a "local child advocacy and abuse center for children, where they provide medical and physical examinations and also forensic child interviews." M was interviewed by a counselor, Warner; she also was evaluated by a physician, Sandberg, who did not discover any significant abnormalities during M's physical examination. During the Juliet's House evaluation, M stated that petitioner had sexually abused her on three occasions "with his hand to the genital area, " both above and beneath her clothing. M also talked about Goings, saying that "her mom would become suicidal" if M and S were removed from her care. "[O]ver and over again, " M expressed concern that she was going to be taken away from her mother, who M did not think could survive without her children. M told Warner that she had "regularly" asked S if petitioner had ever touched her, but S had always said no. M also said that she was afraid that S "was going to say something that would get herself in trouble and their mom, and that the kids would end up being taken away."

         As a result of his medical examination of M, Sandberg made treatment recommendations that included no contact with petitioner, child counseling, and family counseling because "there seemed to be a lot of emotional turmoil in the family and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.