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Guitron v. Baker

United States District Court, D. Nevada

October 25, 2019

MIGUEL JOSE GUITRON, Petitioner,
v.
RENEE BAKER, et al., Respondents.

          ORDER

          MIRANDA M. DU CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This action is a petition for writ of habeas corpus by Miguel Jose Guitron, an individual incarcerated at Nevada's Lovelock Correctional Center. Petitioner is represented by appointed counsel. Respondents have filed a motion to dismiss. For the following reasons, the Court will deny the motion to dismiss and set a schedule for Respondents to file an answer.

         II. BACKGROUND

         In its opinion on Petitioner's direct appeal, the Nevada Court of Appeals described the factual background of the case as follows:

Guitron met the victim's mother, Anita, in Las Vegas in 1997 or 1998. The couple dated for some time, after which Anita moved to Michigan. When she left Las Vegas, Anita was approximately two to three months pregnant with the victim, who she asserts is Guitron's child. However, Anita did not tell Guitron she was pregnant and she had no contact with Guitron for some years after leaving Las Vegas. When the victim was five years old, Anita applied for child support from Guitron, which the court awarded following a positive paternity test.
In October 2010, Guitron called Anita while she was living in Ohio with the victim and her two other children fathered by another man. The victim, who was then 11 years old, overheard the conversation, realized it was her father on the phone, and asked to speak with him. The victim testified that during this first telephone conversation, Guitron told her he was her father. Anita described the victim as “a kid in a candy store" upon speaking with her father for the first time.
Following this phone call, Anita moved back to Las Vegas in late 2010 and resumed her relationship with Guitron. The victim, who was in elementary school and enrolled in an lndividualized Education Plan because she was a slow learner, was thrilled to finally meet her father. Guitron began living with the family shortly after the move. During this time, the victim discussed sex with Anita and had at least some knowledge and understanding of sex.
When the victim was 12 years old, Anita realized the victim was pregnant. Initially, the victim told Anita a neighbor boy was the father. The next day, Anita took the victim to a pregnancy center where medical personnel confirmed she was eight months pregnant. Based on the victim's statements during the examination, the medical staff called the police and alleged Guitron had sexually assaulted the victim. The victim then admitted to both Anita and the police that Guitron was the baby's father. She explained she initially lied because Guitron told her to say the neighbor boy was the father. DNA testing by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department conclusively proved Guitron was the father of the victim's baby. Additionally, Guitron sent letters to the victim during the pendency of the case, openly admitting he was the baby's father.
At trial, based on his statement during an interview to detectives prior to his arrest, Guitron asserted he and the victim only engaged in sex on one occasion. Further, he alleged the victim initiated that single sexual encounter, which occurred while Guitron was intoxicated and partially unconscious. Guitron argued the victim was sexually curious and wanted to have sex with him, and she was capable of understanding the consequences of her actions despite her age. He also asserted the State did not meet its burden of proof on the incest charge because the State did not present DNA evidence proving he was the victim's father. The State countered with evidence Guitron had groomed the victim and engaged in sexual conduct with her on multiple occasions, even when the victim resisted his advances. The State also presented witness testimony that Guitron was the victim's father.
The jury convicted Guitron of incest, four counts of sexual assault with a minor under the age of 14, and two counts of lewdness with a child under the age of 14.

(ECF No. 25-35 at 3-5 (Opinion, Exh. 76 at 2-4).) Petitioner was sentenced as follows:

Count 1, incest, life in prison with the possibility of parole after two years;
Count 2, sexual assault with a child under the age of 14, life in prison with the possibility of parole after 35 years, ...

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