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State v. Karasevich

Superior Court of Delaware, Kent

August 17, 2017

STATE OF DELAWARE
v.
JONATHAN KARASEVICH Defendant.

         RK13-02-0396-01 Rape 1st (F)

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

          Susan G. Schmidhauser, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, for the State of Delaware.

          Jonathan Karasevich, Pro se.

          COMMISSIONER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          FREUD, Commissioner.

         The defendant, Jonathan Karasevich ("Karasevich"), pled guilty on June 26, 2013 to Rape in the First Degree, 11 Del. C. § 773. He also faced fifteen additional counts of Rape in the First Degree, one count of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child, one count of Sexual Solicitation of a Child and one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Nolle prosequis were entered by the State on the additional charges in exchange for Karasevich's plea. As part of the Plea Agreement the parties agreed to recommend a sentence of fifty years at Level V suspended after serving fifteen years minimum mandatory for varying levels of probation. The Court agreed with the parties recommendation and sentenced Karasevich accordingly. Had he gone to trial and been found guilty of all charges he faced 255 minimum mandatory and the possibility of life in prison.

         Karasevich filed a Motion for Sentence Reduction and Modification on September 23, 2013 which was denied due to the defendant receiving the mandatory minimum. Karasevich then filed the Motion for Postconviction Reliefpro se pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61. The Court appointed counsel to represent Karasevich in his motion. Appointed Counsel subsequently filed a motion to withdraw with supporting memorandum. In the motion to withdraw, Appointed Counsel set forth that he conducted a conscientious review of the record and concluded that no meritorious issues existed. Appointed counsel was granted permission to withdraw.

         FACTS

         The charges stemmed from a call from Division of Family Services (DFS) to Harrington Police Department in reference to a sexual abuse complaint. On January 9, 2013, DFS advised Lieutenant Earl Brode that the alleged victim (M. W.)[1] disclosed during a counseling session that about two years prior, she was sexually assaulted by her uncle, Karasevich. Lt. Brode scheduled an interview with the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) to speak with the alleged victim. M.W. stated that she was sexually abused by her uncle starting at the age of 6, August 2008, until age 8, December 2009. She described the abuse as touching, digital penetration and tongue penetration, all of which occurred numerous times on a weekly basis. The police swore out an arrest warrant on January 17, 2013, and after an extradition from Montana, Karasevich was arrested on February 2, 2013.

         KARASEVICH'S CONTENTIONS

         In his motion, Karasevich raises the following grounds for relief:

Ground one: Denial of right to Effective assistance of counsel. Counsel refused to go to trial stating that 'she did not want to torture the victim any further.' Defendant was adamant about his innocence and going to trial. Defendant had multiple alibies (sic) as to his whereabouts in the Military pertaining to his charges.
Ground two: Failure to investigate claims made by the defendant related to his case. Alleged victims (sic) medical exam results were returned after the defendant was sentenced. Results was negative to the claim. Defendant also had information as to the substantiated abuse of the alleged victims (sic) Mother, his (Adopted sister) by her Uncle but was continuously shut down by his attorney.
Ground three: Induced Plea agreement based on coercion or threats. Defendant's counsel made the statement 'I do not want to torture the victim any further by going to trial.' Reference to alleged victim as a 'victim' is an insight (sic) to then counsels mind frame, where ...

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