United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
ZACHARY A. JOHNSON, Petitioner,
TOM VILLMER, Respondent.
E. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the petition of Zachary Johnson
for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
facts will be provided as necessary to address
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
(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;
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable
determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented