Satawa Law, PLLC recently prevailed on a writ of habeus corpus based on ineffective assistance of counsel filed on behalf of a client in Spaulding v. Larson. The client had been convicted at trial of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and and first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was sentenced to conncurrent terms of 3 to 15 years’ incarceration and for the second-degree charge and6 to 30 years’ incarceration for the first-degree charge.
Client was convicted of these crimes in 2010. The case involved the client’s stepdaughter, a teenager at the time of the events described in the case. Client’s stepdaughter had alleged that client had made illicit sexual advances toward her on multiple occasions.
Appeal Contends Ineffective Counsel & Witness Testimony
The State Trial Court, the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the Michigan Supreme Court had all rejected this ineffective assistance of counsel argument when it was presented to them in a state 6500 Motion. Satawa Law then brought forth the argument that his defense lawyer was constitutionally ineffective when he failed to seek out/consult with an expert witness with a background in allegations of child sexual assault, forensic interviewing, and forensic psychology.
Satawa Law, PLLC relied on the opinion of Dr. Katherine Keefer Okla, who was a clinical psychologist and had extensive experience as an expert witness in child sexual assault cases. Dr. Okla noted that the stepdaughter had many inconsistencies in her stories and testimony, reducing the reliability in the State’s evidence.
Ultimately, the United States District Court granted the writ of habeus corpus and found that the client had received ineffective assistance of counsel, in direct violation of the Sixth Amendment.
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Satawa Law, PLLC has successfully helped numerous clients find resolution and peace after being charged with a sexual crime or child abuse charges. We are here to safeguard your future, your reputation, and your character. If you have any questions whatsoever, please feel free to contact our firm to request a free, confidential case consultation.
Give us a call today at (248) 292-3209.