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.

Johnson v. Villmer

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

September 12, 2016

ZACHARY A. JOHNSON, Petitioner,
v.
TOM VILLMER, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM

          CAROL E. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on the petition of Zachary Johnson for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

         I. Procedural Background

         Petitioner is presently incarcerated in the Farmington Correctional Center pursuant to the sentence and judgment of the Circuit Court of Scott County, Missouri. On April 25, 2011, following a bench trial, petitioner was found guilty of one count of the class C felony of possession of child pornography (images) and three counts of the class B felony of possession of child pornography (videos). The trial court sentenced petitioner to concurrent terms of seven years' imprisonment for the class C felony and ten years' imprisonment for each of the class B felonies. Judgment, Resp. Ex. B at 53-55. The judgment was affirmed on appeal. State v. Johnson, 372 S.W.3d 549 (Mo.Ct.App. 2012). Petitioner did not seek post-conviction relief under Missouri law. He timely filed the instant petition on August 5, 2013.

         II. Factual Background

         On March 20, 2009, petitioner was staying in a hotel in Columbia, Missouri, with three boys who were attending a basketball championship. Transcript at 63, Resp. Ex. A. One of the boys later reported to his father that he woke up in the early morning to find petitioner rubbing his penis. The father contacted William Cooper, a sergeant with the Missouri Highway Patrol, who interviewed the victim and the two other boys. Id. at 64. The victim told Sgt. Cooper that he woke up at 5:30 in the morning, convinced he was dreaming. Petitioner then offered to continue what he was doing. The victim declined and moved over to the bed his friend was sleeping in. Johnson, 372 S.W.3d at 552. The victim also reported that when he came out of the shower later that morning, petitioner was seated at the desk working on his laptop computer. Transcript at 65. All three boys reported that petitioner had been taking pictures while they were together in the hotel room. Id.

         Sergeant Cooper also interviewed the victim's uncle, who had arranged the trip. He stated that he had known petitioner's family for some time. Petitioner told the victim's uncle that he had a photography business and explained that he wanted to take “cameo” photographs of children, which he described as taking pictures of the children without their knowledge but with the consent of their parents. The uncle stated that, in hindsight, his conversation with petitioner was “ominous.” Affidavit in support of warrant, Resp. Ex. B at 28.

         On March 24, 2009, Cooper obtained a search warrant for petitioner's residence to authorize seizure of any computers, cameras and other devices capable storing, transmitting or receiving electronic data; all images depicting sexual conduct, all images of minors in various states of undress; and items “related to the performance of sexual acts.” Id. at 30. Cooper executed the warrant on March 25, 2009. During the search, petitioner admitted that he had computer images of nude boys with erections.

         Sergeant Paul Cordia of the Missouri Highway Patrol completed a forensic analysis of the computers seized from petitioner's home. Transcript at 82-83. Cordia testified that he recovered over 500 still photographs and over 20 videos depicting child pornography on one of the computers. Id. at 86. At trial, the prosecutor introduced twenty photographs of children engaged in sexual acts and three videos of pre-pubescent and pubescent males engaged in sexual acts. Johnson, 372 S.W.3d at 553.

         Additional facts will be provided as necessary to address petitioner's claims.

         III. Legal Standard

         When a claim has been adjudicated on the merits in state court proceedings, habeas relief is permissible under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), only if the state court's determination:

(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 ...

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.