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State v. Tegano

Superior Court of Delaware, Kent

July 31, 2017

STATE OF DELAWARE
v.
MELISSA TEGANO Defendant.

         RK14-12-0222-01 Rape 2nd W/O Con (F)

         COMMISSIONER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

         Upon Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief Pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61

          Julie L. Johnson, Esq., Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, for the State of Delaware.

          Melissa Tegano, Pro se.

          FREUD M. FREUD, COMMISSIONER

         The defendant, Melissa Tegano ("Tegano"), pled guilty on February 24, 2015, to one count of Rape in the Second Degree without Consent, 11 Del. C. §772. She was also facing the following charges: two additional counts of Rape in the Second Degree without Consent, one count of Sexual Solicitation of a Child Under 18 to Engage in Prohibited Sexual Act, one count of Rape in the Fourth Degree Sexual Penetration of Another Person Without Consent, and one count of Unlawful Sexual Contact Second Degree Have Contact with person less than 18 Years. Nolle prosequis were entered by the State on the additional charges in exchange for Tegano's plea. Had she gone to trial and been found guilty as charged she faced a minimum mandatory sentence of thirty years incarceration. The parties recommended a sentence of twenty-five years at Level V suspended after ten years minimum mandatory for varying levels of probation. The Court agreed with the recommendation and sentenced Tegano accordingly. On April 29, 2015, Tegano filed a. pro se Motion for Modification of Sentence which was denied. Tegano next filed a pro se Motion for Postconviction Relief pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 alleging ineffective assistance of counsel.

         FACTS

         The charges stemmed from information received by the Delaware State Police that a fourteen year-old runaway from Virginia, Alex Winslow ("Winslow"), was with Tegano at a house in Hartly, Delaware. On November 28, 2014, Detective Csapo responded to the home and found Winslow with Tegano. Winslow told police that he ran away, and Tegano and her twelve year-old sister picked him up near his home in Virginia and drove him to the house in Hartly. Winslow said that he had met Tegano about a year before while playing online video games. He told police that when they arrived at the house, he slept in the living room with Tegano and her sister. He also told police that he and Tegano engaged in oral and vaginal sex on two occasions since he had arrived in Delaware. While Det. Csapo interviewed Tegano, she confirmed they had sex on two occasions, but she believed he was nineteen years -old. Tegano was arrested on November 29, 2014.

         TEGANO'S CONTENTIONS

         In the motion, Tegano sets forth the following grounds for relief:

Ground one: Ineffective Counsel
Public Defender William T. Deely took advantage of the fact that this was my first conviction of any sort. And instead of having me take the original plea of 3 counts of 3rd degree rape which holds 6 years. I feel I was wrongfully guided and was ...

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