Child Sex Abuse (F)
Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief Pursuant to
Superior Court Criminal Rule 61
Kathleen A. Dickerson, Esq., Deputy Attorney General,
Department of Justice, for the State of Delaware.
Anthony G. Harmon, pro se.
COMMISSIONER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
M. FREUD COMMISSIONER
defendant, Anthony G. Harmon ("Harmon"), pled
guilty on January 11, 2018 to one count of Felony Sexual
Abuse of a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust,
Authority or Supervision in the First Degree ("Child
Sexual Abuse"), 11 Del. C. § 778(2). He
also faced one additional count of Child Sexual Abuse and two
counts of Felony Sex Offender Unlawful Sexual Conduct Against
a Child which were nolle prossed by the State in
exchange for Harmon's plea. As part of the plea deal the
State and the defense agreed upon a recommended sentence of
twenty-five years incarceration suspended after serving
twelve years, ten of which were minimum mandatory followed by
probation. The Court agreed with the sentence recommendation
and sentenced Harmon accordingly. Had Harmon gone to trial
and been found guilty as charged he faced life in prison due
to his status as an habitual offender. Harmon did not
appeal his conviction or sentence to the State Supreme Court.
Instead, Harmon filed the pending motion for postconviction
relief pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 on
September 27, 2018 in which he alleges, in part, ineffective
assistance of counsel.
following are the facts as outlined by the State in their
reply to Harmon's motion and documented by accompanying
exhibits including the police report, DNA report and other
documents attached to the State's Reply.
The defendant was arrested on June 15, 2017, and subsequently
charged by indictment with two counts of Sexual Abuse of a
Child by a Person in a Position of Trust, Authority or
Supervision in the First Degree, violations of 11 Del.
C. § 777(2), and two counts of Sex Offender
Unlawful Sexual Conduct Against a Child, violations of 11
Del. C. § 777A. The case resulted from a
disclosure of sexual abuse by the 14-year old victim who
informed her mother through text messaging that she had
engaged in sexual intercourse with the defendant who was her
mother's husband. (Exhibit "A"). The victim
indicated that she thought she could be pregnant with the
Following the disclosure, a forensic interview was conducted
with the victim at the Children's Advocacy Center
[("CAC")]. During this interview the victim
disclosed that the defendant had engaged in sexual contact
and sexual intercourse with her on several occasions at
different locations. The victim stated that the last incident
occurred on March 12, 2017, at the family's home at
[address redacted] in Dover. On this date she performed
fellatio on the defendant and they engaged in penile-vaginal
intercourse on the defendant's marital bed. The victim
stated that she wore a white short sleeve shirt, orange or
pink pajama pants, and dark blue or pink underwear. While the
victim and defendant were in the bedroom, he used a camera
application on his cell phone to monitor the home's
stairwell to make sure that no one saw them.
The victim received medical treatment, including a forensic
examination, at Bayhealth - Kent General Hospital. During
this examination she revealed that she had sex with her
stepfather the day before and that she had engaged in sexual
intercourse with him on other occasions during the past year.
She reported to the nurse examiner that the last encounter
included penile-vaginal intercourse and oral copulation with
the defendant (Exhibit "B").
Detective Boone of Dover Police Department interviewed the
defendant. The defendant denied having a sexual relationship
with the victim and could not explain why the victim would
make this allegation. He stated that they had a good
relationship. He admitted that he was in the bedroom with her
for twenty minutes on March 12, 2017, that he used the cell
phone application to monitor the house's camera and that
his daughter was in the shower during the time he was in the
bedroom with the victim.
Evidence was collected from various sources during the
investigation. The victim's dark pink or red sweat pants
were seized from a laundry hamper in her bedroom and sent to
the Division of Forensic Science for examination. Analysis
revealed the presence of the defendant's spermatozoa on
the pants. The analyst opined that the odds of the DNA
profile coming from any person other than the defendant were
1 in 7 trillion (Exhibit "C").
The defendant was interviewed a second time at Dover Police
Department and confronted with the results of the DNA test.
He again denied sexual contact. He informed the detective
multiple times that he had no explanation for the results. He
then requested to speak to his wife, the victim's mother
and told her over the telephone that the victim had requested
his sperm so she could ...