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Jordan v. State

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division

July 24, 2014

STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, et al., Respondents.


GLEN H. DAVIDSON, District Judge.

Petitioner, Timothy Jordan, Mississippi prisoner #143269, has filed a pro se federal habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging his state court convictions for sexual battery, touching a child for lustful purposes, and child neglect. Having considered the submission of the parties, the State court record, and the law applicable to Petitioner's claims, the Court finds that the petition should be denied, for the reasons that follow.

Background Facts and Procedural History

In 2006, Krystal Jordan, Timothy ("Tim") Jordan, Glenn Grose, and Johnny Grose were indicted for the sexual battery, gratification of lust, and child neglect of Krystal and Tim's three year-old daughter, B.J. Krystal[1] pled guilty to three counts of sexual battery and felony child abuse and testified against the remaining defendants at their joint trial.[2] The men were convicted of the charges. A brief recitation of the events leading up to their conviction is as follows:

In October 2005, Krystal and Tim Jordan were living in the home of Johnny Grose and Glenn Grose. The Jordan's children, B.J., the victim in this case, and S.J., her infant sister, lived there as well. On October 20, 2005, Rhiannon Shaw, employed as a family protection specialist by the Lafayette County Department of Human Services, received an anonymous telephone call reporting the possibility that drug use, prostitution, and child neglect might be occurring in the home. A few days later, Krystal was arrested on a domestic violence charge involving Tim. Krystal's mother, Gloria, subsequently picked up both B.J. and S.J. On October 31, 2005, Gloria reported to Shaw that B.J. "was having problems with potty training; that her bottom was very raw; and she was [making] specific comments about people touching her and had named specific names such a[s] her father, Glenn and Johnny Grose." Shaw told Gloria not to question B.J. and informed Gloria that she would set up a forensic interview with B.J.[3]

The forensic interview was conducted on November 3, 2005, by Ejeera Joiner of Family Crisis Services. Shaw sat concealed from B.J.'s view behind a one-way mirror. During the interview, B.J. reported that Tim, Glenn, and Johnny had touched her vagina with their penises, and she demonstrated the acts using anatomically correct dolls. Tomiko Mackey, a clinical social worker accepted by the court as an expert in forensic examination, testified that she had observed a DVD of the forensic interview and had some concerns with Joiner's questioning technique, although she agreed that Joiner followed the appropriate protocol. She observed that B.J. was fairly consistent in her disclosure of the abuse and the persons responsible for it.[4]

Martha Hester Grose, Krystal's maternal grandmother, testified that, following Krystal's October arrest, she and her husband, Larry Grose, went to the Grose home. While there, she reported, B.J. asked to go home with Martha and Larry, and Tim agreed to let her go. Martha reported that she and Larry took B.J. to a motel room in Bruce, and that B.J. cried after using the bathroom and after sitting down in a bathtub to bathe. Martha recounted that when she asked B.J. if someone had hurt her "down there, " B.J. answered, "Yes, Mammaw, Tim and Christy and Johnny and Glen." The next morning, Martha and Larry drove B.J. to Gloria's home and told Gloria what B.J. had said. She reported that Gloria called the Department of Human Services.

Dr. Thomas Fowlkes, a physician specializing in emergency and correctional medicine, treated Krystal while she was incarcerated at the Lafayette County Detention Center. Dr. Fowlkes testified that information obtained from Krystal indicated that she was abusing cocaine, marijuana, and prescription painkillers at the time of her arrest. He reported that he placed Krystal on an antidepressant and an antipsychotic medication. He concluded that Krystal was mildly mentally retarded when he began treating her, and that she had "some organic brain syndrome" or sustained some additional brain damage that rendered her less functional than she was when he began treating her. Dr. Fowlkes stated that Krystal had abused inhalants since her incarceration, which he opined were responsible for her mental deterioration.

Krystal testified that she routinely drank alcohol and abused drugs while married to Tim, and she also admitted that she had a sexual relationship with both Glenn and Johnny. Krystal reported that when she was "big" and pregnant with S.J., Tim suggested that he have sex with three year-old B.J. Krystal testified that she, Tim, and B.J. all got into the shower together at their home, and that she held B.J. up while Tim had sexual intercourse with B.J., who screamed and cried for help during the assault. She reported that in later sexual assaults, she and Tim gave B.J. a Lortab, a prescription painkiller, to help keep her calm. After S.J. was born, the family moved to the Grose trailer. There, Krystal maintained, Tim continued to abuse B.J. She testified that Glenn learned of the abuse and asked to have sex with B.J., to which she consented.

Krystal testified that Johnny learned that the other two men were having sex with B.J. and asked to have sex with her, as well. Krystal reported that she consented and gave B.J. a Lortab. She also stated that she performed fellatio on Johnny to show B.J. how to do it, and that afterwards, B.J. performed the act on Johnny.

On cross-examination, the defense presented letters Krystal wrote to the defendants while they were incarcerated. In these letters, some of which she denied writing, Krystal maintained the innocence of the defendants and herself. She was also questioned about her plea agreement, and, as the State court noted, she "had difficulty answering the questions." She acknowledged, however, that she received a plea deal. She also stated that she did not think the deal would be revoked if she refused to testify against the defendants.

Pammie Davidson, a licensed social worker employed as the victim's assistance coordinator for the district attorney's office, testified that she met with Krystal between ten and fifteen times between October 2007 and September 2008 and helped prepare her for trial. Over the objection of defense counsel, she testified about the prior statements Krystal made to her regarding the defendants' abuse of B.J.

Pediatric medicine expert, Dr. Tanya King, testified that she first examined B.J. on November 3, 2005. She found inflammation in B.J.'s genital area, as well as bruising on both sides of her vagina. While B.J.'s hymen was not torn, Dr. King noted that a child's vagina is small and the hymen recessed, making total penetration difficult for the perpetrator. She also testified that B.J.'s anus was abnormally dilated, and that the injury was caused by the repeated penetration of an object, which had occurred over a period of months. Despite having performed between 200 and 300 examinations on victims of child sexual abuse, Dr. King stated she had never seen another child with an anus so damaged.

Krystal's mother, Gloria, testified that when Martha brought B.J. to Gloria's home and told her that B.J. had complained of pain during urination, Gloria examined B.J.'s vaginal area and found it "red and raw." She reported that B.J. told her on several occasions that "Kristi and Tim and Glen and Johnny had hurt her."[5] Gloria reported the abuse to the Department of Human Services. Gloria testified that after the allegations of sexual abuse were made, B.J. began to masturbate in public, attempt to grab peoples' private areas, request that someone touch her or request to touch someone, abuse the family dog, physically assault S.J. and attempt to fondle her, simulate oral sex with food, and eat and smear her own feces.

Clinical social worker, Robin Smith, testified as B.J.'s treating therapist. She began treating B.J. shortly after the child turned four years old, while she was still in Gloria's custody. She testified that B.J.'s behavior, as reported by Gloria, showed a desperate attempt for attention. She reported that B.J. indicated that the defendants touched her in her vaginal and anal areas. Smith also testified that B.J. was very provocative in her behavior, even with Smith. She reported that B.J. would stare at people inappropriately and attempt to touch other children inappropriately, and that she would eat and/or smear her feces. Smith testified that she had never seen a child eat and/or smear her feces that was not sexually abused. She maintained that B.J. would revert to these behaviors when questioned about the abuse. Smith diagnosed B.J. with post-traumatic stress syndrome, both the inattentive and hyperactive types of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, and reactive attachment disorder. She also determined that B.J. suffered trichotillomania, a disorder manifested by the obsessive pulling out of her own hair. Smith testified that B.J. consistently testified that her parents, Glenn, Johnny, and Larry touched her vagina.

During his case-in-chief, Tim presented several witnesses who testified that he was a good father, and he presented several witnesses who testified that they babysat B.J., and that she never complained to them about vaginal pain. He also presented the testimony of a nurse practitioner who treated B.J., and who testified that she never suspected that B.J. was sexually abused. Two of Tim's siblings also testified that they had never heard B.J. complain of vaginal pain. Tim denied having any sort of sexual contact with B.J., testifying that he only touched her "down there" when he was giving her a bath or helping her clean herself after she used the bathroom. He admitted to using drugs and drinking alcohol, and he admitted knowledge of Krystal's extramarital affairs. Tim testified that he did not think that Glenn or Johnny, both of whom denied sexual contact with B.J., would sexually abuse her.

Petitioner was convicted by a jury in the Circuit Court of Lafayette County, Mississippi, of four counts of sexual battery, one count of touching a child for lustful purposes, and one count of felony child neglect. On October 14, 2008, he was sentenced to serve life imprisonment for each of the sexual battery convictions, ten years for touching a child for lustful purposes, and ten years for felony child neglect, all in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.[6]

With the assistance of new counsel, Petitioner appealed his convictions and sentences, raising the following issues:

On September 14, 2010, the Mississippi Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court. See Jordan, Grose, and Grose v. Sate, 80 So.3d 817 (Miss.Ct.App. 2010), reh'g denied, June 7, 2011, cert. granted, Sept. 8, 2011, cert. dismissed, Feb. 16, 2012 (Cause No. 2008-KA-01761-COA). On August 6, 2012, in the Mississippi Supreme Court, Petitioner, proceeding pro se, filed application for leave to proceed in the trial court with a motion for post-conviction relief raising the following issues[7]:

On September 19, 2012, the Mississippi Supreme Court filed an order dismissing the motion, holding as follows:

In this petition, Jordan raises a number of issues that were raised on direct appeal. Those issues are procedurally barred by the doctrine of res judicata pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-21(3). Furthermore, failure to raise issues capable of determination at trial or on direct appeal constitutes a waiver of those issues. Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-21(1). Therefore, the motion for post-conviction relief is procedurally ...

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