Danforth v. Crist, No. 05-3987

By FindLaw Staff on October 25, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Criminal Sexual Conduct Habeas Petition

In Danforth v. Crist, No. 05-3987, a prosecution for first-degree criminal sexual conduct, the court affirmed the denial of petitioner's habeas petition where 1) Crawford v. Washington did not apply retroactively to petitioner's case; 2) petitioner failed to show a clearly established right to be present when a videotaped statement is made under federal law; and 3) the trial court did not make an unreasonable determination of the facts in finding the victim's statement reliable despite its finding that the victim was incompetent to testify at trial.


As the court wrote:  "Stephen Danforth was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct on March 16, 1996, and is currently serving a 316-month term of imprisonment. After several unsuccessful appeals and requests for postconviction relief in the Minnesota courts, Danforth sought habeas relief in federal district court. The district court denied Danforth's petition for writ of habeas corpus. Danforth sought to appeal the denial of his petition and the district court granted a certificate of appealability solely on the issue of whether Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004) applies retroactively. We granted a motion by Danforth to expand the certificate of appealability to include additional issues regarding the trial court's admission of a videotaped hearsay statement by the victim, who did not testify at trial. We affirm."

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