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Jeffrey Donald Drye v. United States of America

September 12, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Michael Seabright United States District Judge



Currently before the court is Petitioner Jeffrey Donald Drye's ("Drye") Petition Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate Sentence and Set Aside for a New Sentencing ("§ 2255 Motion"). Doc. No. 144. Drye challenges his sentence on various grounds, including ineffective assistance of counsel.

The government filed an Opposition on July 26, 2012, Doc. No. 149, and although the court provided Drye the option to file a Reply by August 24, 2012, Doc. No. 150, he failed to do so. For the following reasons, the court DENIES Drye's § 2255 Motion and DENIES a certificate of appealability.


On November 17, 2010, a grand jury in the District of Hawaii returned a 2-count Indictment charging Drye with abusive sexual contact (in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 7(3) and 2244(b)) and sexual assault in the first degree (an assimilated crime in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes § 707-730). The Indictment charged that on or about January 30, 2010, within the boundaries of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Drye (1) knowingly engaged in "sexual contact" with J.S. without her permission, with "sexual contact" meaning the intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with the intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person (Count I, abusive sexual contact); and (2) subjected J.S. to an act of sexual penetration by strong compulsion (Count II, sexual assault in the first degree). Count I carried a maximum penalty of 24 months; Count II carried a maximum penalty of 240 months.

These charges were the culmination of an investigation that uncovered different versions of what occurred on January 30, 2010. Investigators first became aware of the January 30, 2010 incident on February 17, 2010 after J.S.'s father reported that Drye had sexually assaulted J.S. Doc. No. 141, PSR ¶ 6.

When questioned by investigators, J.S. relayed that Drye, J.S., A.C., and J.W. entered Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to spend the night camping, and that Drye sexually assaulted J.S. when A.C. and J.W. left the campsite to get food from the car. Specifically, J.S. reported that Drye kissed her and touched her breasts and vagina even though J.S. kept pushing him away, and that Drye subsequently raped her. Id. ¶ 13.

In comparison, in a March 5, 2010 interview, Drye admitted that he kissed J.S. and touched her stomach, and may have touched her breast (although he could not recall), and that he stopped kissing J.S. when she asked him to stop. Id.

¶ 17. On June 8, 2010, however, Defendant told a different version after he underwent a polygraph examination which indicated deception in some of his responses. Id. ¶ 19; see also Doc. No. 126, Tr. at 5-7.*fn1 In a post-polygraph examination that same day,*fn2 Drye admitted that he touched J.S.'s breasts after she told him to stop, unsuccessfully attempted to touch J.S.'s vagina (the tightness of her pants prevented him), and also rubbed J.S.'s upper thighs and crotch area over her clothing even though J.S. pushed his hands away and told him to stop. Doc. No. 141, PSR ¶ 19. Drye also provided investigators the clothing he wore the night of the incident, but investigators did not perform forensic analysis. Id. ¶ 20.

Trial commenced on June 14, 2011 and proceeded through four days of testimony. In the government's case-in-chief, J.S. testified that over her objections Drye kissed her, touched her breasts and vagina, and then raped her.

Doc. No. 127, Tr. at 22-30. FBI Agent Jason White testified to Drye's admissions during the June 8, 2010 interview. Drye then took the stand on his own behalf and testified that he and J.S. engaged in consensual french kissing and that he touched J.S.'s inner thighs and crotch area on the outside of her clothing and attempted to touch her breasts, but that J.S. kept moving his hands away from these areas. Doc. No. 129, Tr. at 83-85; Doc. No. 130, Tr. at 19-21. He further admitted that he told Agent White that he had touched J.S.'s inner thighs and crotch area. Doc. No. 130, Tr. at 19.

On June 20, 2011, the jury found Drye guilty of abusive sexual contact and not guilty of sexual assault in the first degree. On November 3, 2011, Drye was sentenced to twenty-one months imprisonment to be followed by one year supervised release, and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment fee. Final judgment was entered on November 4, 2011. Doc. No. 139. Drye did not file an appeal.

On June 25, 2012, Drye filed his § 2255 Motion asserting, among other things, that Assistant Federal Public Defender Shanlyn Park ("Park") provided ineffective assistance of counsel. Doc. No. 144. On July 10, 2012, the court entered an order finding that Drye waived his attorney-client privilege as to the issues raised in the § 2255 Motion, as well as to communications between Drye and Park that are reasonably related to those issues. Doc. No. 148. On July 26, 2012, the government filed its Opposition. Doc. No. 149. Drye failed to file an optional reply.


The court's review of Drye's Motion is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a):

A prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral attack, may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence.

A court should hold an evidentiary hearing on a § 2255 motion "unless the files and records of the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no relief." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b). "In determining whether a hearing and findings of fact and conclusions of law are required, '[t]he standard essentially is whether the movant has made specific factual allegations that, if true, state a claim on which relief could be granted.'" United States v. Withers, 638 F.3d 1055, 1062 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting United States v. Schaflander, 743 F.2d 714, 717 (9th Cir. 1984)). "Thus, the district court's decision that [the petitioner's] ineffective assistance claim did not warrant an evidentiary hearing [is] correct if his allegations, when viewed against the record, do not state a claim for relief or are so palpably incredible or patently frivolous as to warrant summary dismissal." United States v. Leonti, 326 F.3d 1111, 1116 (9th Cir. 2003) (citing Schaflander, 743 F.2d at 717) (quotations omitted). Conclusory statements in a § 2255 motion are insufficient to require a hearing. United States v. Johnson, 988 F.2d 941, 945 (9th Cir. 1993). After careful consideration of Drye's allegations and the record as a whole, the court concludes that an evidentiary hearing is not required -- Drye makes no specific factual allegations that state a claim upon which relief can be granted.


Drye asserts that he entitled to relief pursuant to § 2255 because

(1) his conviction was obtained in violation of the privilege against self-incrimination, (2) the government failed to disclose to Drye evidence favorable to him, and (3) he was denied effective assistance of counsel. For each claim, Drye describes its basis in only the most conclusory fashion and with the barest of explanations. Although the government provided a detailed Opposition and submitted evidence to refute his ineffective assistance of counsel claims, Drye did not file any Reply. The ...

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