Petitioner Timothy Lincoln is currently on state probation under the supervision of Sacramento County Probation. He filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner was found guilty by a jury of three counts of lewd and lascivious touching of his daughter. He contends that his conviction should be overturned because there were Sixth Amendment violations of his Confrontation Clause rights and because he was denied effective assistance of counsel. After considering the petition, respondent's answer, and the balance of the record, the court hereby finds and rules as follows.
The facts of this case are set forth in the Third District Court of Appeal of California's decision, the relevant portion of which is summarized as follows:
Defendant's wife, Elizabeth, was talking to their daughter, Christie (who was four years old at the time), about inappropriate touching. During this conversation Christie stated that her father had touched her in her private area "many" times. Elizabeth confronted defendant who admitted he had "rubbed" Christie five different times. He denied penetrating Christie's vagina. Thereafter, Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff Paul Jbeily interviewed Christie in the presence of her mother and asked Christie to point to the area where her father had touched her. Christie "kind of spread her legs and she pointed to her vaginal area."
Following her interview with Deputy Jbeily, Christie was interviewed at the Multi-Disciplinary Interview Center (MDIC). During the interview, Christie said, "My daddy touched me in the private area" and explained it happened "a hundred times" when she was three years old and once when she was four years old. She also claimed that her father had touched his "own private" area in her presence.
At trial, Christie testified about her father touching her. A videotape of the Christie's interview at the MDIC was also played for the jury and a transcript provided. Christie testified that she told the truth in the MDIC interview.
People v. Lincoln, 2006 WL 11337 (Cal.App.3 Dist., Jan. 3, 2006).
On February 11, 2004, a jury found petitioner guilty of three counts of lewd and lascivious touching of his daughter, involving three separation incidents, in violation of California Penal Code § 288(a). Petitioner filed a motion for a new trial on the grounds that his constitutional rights had been violated by the admission of Christie's MDIC videotaped interview into evidence. The motion was denied. The petitioner then renewed his motion for a new trial asserting ineffective assistance of counsel. This motion was also denied.
On July 6, 2004, the trial court sentenced petitioner to three years on count one, and two years on each of counts two and three, for an aggregate term of seven years in state prison. Execution of the sentence was suspended and petitioner was placed on 12 years of formal probation with the conditions that he serve one year in the county jail, participate in both individual and family counseling, and register as a sex offender. Petitioner appealed to the California Court of Appeal, Third District, asserting the same grounds as he assets here. The Third District Court of Appeal affirmed petitioner's conviction and sentence. People v. Lincoln, 2006 WL 11337 (Cal.App.3 Dist., Jan. 3, 2006).
Petitioner timely petitioned the California Supreme Court for review and raised the same issues. Review was denied on March 29, 2006. Petitioner has not filed any state habeas corpus petitions and his federal claims have been exhausted. Petitioner timely filed his federal habeas petition with the United States District Court in the Eastern District of California on April 10, 2007. (Dkt. #1). The case was transferred to this court on January 22, 2009. (Dkt. #20). The matter is now ready for review.
Petitioner claims that he is entitle to relief because:
1. His Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause rights ...