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Lavoie v. Davis

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division

April 12, 2017

Maurice Edward Lavoie, Petitioner,
v.
Lorie Davis, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Gray H. Miller United States District Judge.

         Petitioner, a state inmate proceeding pro se, filed this section 2254 habeas petition challenging his conviction and fifteen year sentence for sexual assault of a child. Respondent filed a motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry No. 17), to which petitioner filed a response (Docket Entry No. 20).

         Having reviewed the motion, the response, the record, the pleadings, and the applicable law, the Court GRANTS the motion for summary judgment and DISMISSES this case for the reasons that follow.

         Background and Claims

         Petitioner was convicted of sexual assault of a child in Madison County, Texas, and sentenced to fifteen years' incarceration in 2012. The conviction was affirmed on appeal. Lavoie v. State, No. 11-12-00296-CR (Tex. App.-Eastland 2014, pet. ref'd). The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused discretionary review and denied petitioner's application for state habeas relief in October 2015.

         Petitioner's four enumerated grounds for habeas relief as set forth in his petition are generalized and multifarious, containing numerous sub-claims and arguments. In liberally construing his petition, the Court has made a reasonable attempt to ascertain his arguments, and finds that the following is a fair summation of his primary claims:

(1) The indictment was void because it was brought at the prosecutor's demand and was based upon false information that did not comport with the evidence.
(2) Voir dire was unconstitutionally limited and resulted in a biased jury because
(a) venire member Risinger was related to a prosecutor and should have been excluded for cause;
(b) venire member Lowery knew and disliked petitioner and should have been excluded for cause;
(c) venire member Mosely knew petitioner but did not disclose this information; and
(d) petitioner's jurors were all white and all female.
(3) Evidence was obtained through an unconstitutional search in violation of petitioner's Fourth Amendment rights.
(4) Petitioner's conviction was a “miscarriage of justice” and a “seditious conspiracy.”

         Respondent argues that these claims are procedurally barred, without merit, and/or raise no cognizable federal habeas claim and should be dismissed.

         Factual Background

         The intermediate state court of appeals set forth the following statement of facts in its opinion affirming petitioner's conviction.

W.H. testified that, when she was seven years old, her father was sent to prison for sexually abusing her; her mother also was sent to prison for witnessing the abuse and failing to act. W.H. then moved in with [petitioner] and his family in Bedias, Texas. Two weeks after being placed in [petitioner's] home, Child Protective Services (CPS) moved W.H. to a foster home in Austin. W.H. stayed in Austin for less than a year before she was returned to [petitioner's] home.
Shortly after W.H. returned, [petitioner] reached for her hand and asked: “[I]f you can do stuff with your real dad, why not me?” [Petitioner] then made W.H. “rub” his penis outside of his clothes. W.H. was eight years old at the time.
When she was nine or ten years old, [petitioner] forced W.H. to perform oral sex on him. [Petitioner] forced W.H. to give him “hand jobs, ” and he began touching her vagina and chest over and under her clothes. Before W.H. was allowed to go to a friend's house or leave for a school activity, ...

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