United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
WILLIAM H. ORRICK United States District Judge
Hector Rafael Aguilar seeks federal habeas relief from his
state convictions on the ground that the charges were barred
by the Ex Post Facto Clause. Because there is evidence he
committed sufficient prohibited acts within the statute of
limitations, his claim lacks merit. His petition for habeas
relief is DENIED.
2013, a Santa Clara County Superior Court jury convicted
Aguilar of 21 charges arising from his sexual abuse of his
two stepdaughters. Only the convictions for lewd and
lascivious behavior against victim one (Elysse Doe) are at
one testified at trial:
[Victim one] testified that Aguilar began molesting her in
1996. From the time the molestation began in 1996 until
victim one moved out of the house in 2004, Aguilar touched
her ‘at least . . . once a day.' In March 2000,
when victim one was 14 years old, the family moved from San
Jose to Los Banos. Victim one testified that while they were
living in Los Banos Aguilar touched her breasts ‘every
day' in the morning before he left for work ‘and
again ‘when he would get home.' On
cross-examination, victim one acknowledged that in 2003 and
2004 Aguilar sometimes stayed overnight at his mother's
house. She further acknowledged that she stayed with her
grandparents for a couple of weeks in the summers and
sometimes on weekends and holidays.
(Ans., Ex. 4, Dkt. No. 10-9 at 3 (State Appellate Opinion,
People v. Aguilar, No. H040199, 2015 WL 1951856
(Cal.Ct.App. Apr. 30, 2015) (unpublished)).)
was convicted and sentenced to 255 years in state prison.
(Id. at 2-3.) His efforts to overturn his
convictions in state court were unsuccessful. This federal
habeas petition followed. As grounds for federal habeas
relief, Aguilar alleges that (1) his conviction violated the
Ex Post Facto Clause because the alleged acts were committed
outside the statute of limitations; and (2) defense counsel
rendered ineffective assistance.
the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(“AEDPA”), this Court may entertain a petition
for writ of habeas corpus “in behalf of a person in
custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the
ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution
or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(a). The petition may not be granted with respect
to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in state
court unless the state court's adjudication of the claim:
“(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or
involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established
Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United
States; or (2) resulted in a decision that was based on an
unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the
evidence presented in the State court proceeding.” 28
U.S.C. § 2254(d).
the ‘contrary to' clause, a federal habeas court
may grant the writ if the state court arrives at a conclusion
opposite to that reached by [the Supreme] Court on a question
of law or if the state court decides a case differently than
[the] Court has on a set of materially indistinguishable
facts.” Williams (Terry) v. Taylor, 529 U.S.
362, 412-13 (2000).
the ‘unreasonable application' clause, a federal
habeas court may grant the writ if the state court identifies
the correct governing legal principle from [the] Court's
decisions but unreasonably applies that principle to the
facts of the prisoner's case.” Id. at 413.
“[A] federal habeas court may not issue the writ simply
because that court concludes in its independent judgment that
the relevant state court decision applied clearly established
federal law erroneously or incorrectly. Rather, that
application must also be unreasonable.” Id. at
411. A federal habeas court making the “unreasonable