Ramsey County District Court File Nos. 62-CR-10-3372, 62-CR-10-3373, 62-CR-10-3374, 62-CR-10-3375.
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and John J. Choi, Ramsey County Attorney, Peter R. Marker, Assistant County Attorney, St. Paul, Minnesota (for respondent)
Tina Liebling, Rochester, Minnesota; and Stephen L. Richards, Chicago, Illinois (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge; Worke, Judge; and Chutich, Judge.
Appellant seeks reversal of four criminal-sexual-conduct convictions, claiming erroneous admission of evidence, prosecutorial misconduct, erroneous response to a jury question during deliberations, and ineffective assistance of counsel. He also asserts erroneous denial of his request for a postconviction evidentiary hearing. We affirm.
Appellant Maksud Mahbub agreed to a joint trial on five criminal complaints alleging criminal sexual conduct involving separate victims. The jury heard the following testimony.
A.H. testified that on the evening of January 6, 2008, she visited the Twin Cities to go bar-hopping with others via a rental bus. A.H. drank "[m]ostly beer" and had consumed "[a]bout six drinks or so" by midnight. When A.H. was accidentally left behind at a bar, appellant approached her, told her that he worked with her friend, and enticed her to go with him to his townhouse by stating that the after-bar party was at his house.
Appellant drove A.H. to his townhouse, but when they arrived, no one else was there. Appellant told A.H. that the others would be coming soon. Feeling apprehensive, A.H. went upstairs to get away from appellant, sat down on a bed, and passed out. When A.H. awoke, appellant was "touching [her] breasts and [her] genital area" over her clothes. A.H. yelled at appellant, asked him what he thought he was doing, and insisted that he return her to her friends. Her purse, phone, money and identification were missing, and appellant did not call a cab for A.H. until she made numerous requests for him to do so.
During cross-examination, A.H. admitted that her written statement merely described appellant "grabbing and rubbing" her body, but on redirect A.H. clarified that her statement was very general and that she described the incident in more detail when she was interviewed by law enforcement. A.H. did not report the assault until the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department contacted her in March 2010.
Appellant testified that he invited A.H. to an after-bar party at his townhouse but denied that he assaulted her, and he stated that he called her a cab for her immediately when she realized that there was no party and wanted to leave.
C.F. testified that on July 3, 2009, she and some friends went downtown Minneapolis. She drank "[a]t least four shots, probably four beers, and two or three mixed drinks" during the evening. Around 1:00 a.m., C.F. stayed at a bar to finish her drink while her friends went to another bar. At 1:45 a.m., C.F. phoned her friends, but they did not answer. She started walking toward an ATM to get money for a cab. In reply to her question about the location of the nearest ATM, appellant told her to follow him, but instead he took her to a parking garage and forced her into his car.
Appellant took C.F. to his townhouse. While C.F. was talking to a friend on her phone, appellant took her phone away and removed the battery. Appellant refused to let her leave and took her upstairs. C.F. sat down on a bed and "must have passed out"; when she next awoke, her pants were unbuttoned and unzipped, and appellant had his hands up her shirt, touching her breasts. C.F. told appellant to stop, ran downstairs and tried to leave, but the door was locked. C.F. screamed and yelled at appellant, threatened to call police, and struck him until he called a cab for her. ...