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Jack Keith Cook v. Brent Reinke

May 16, 2011

JACK KEITH COOK, PETITIONER,
v.
BRENT REINKE, DIRECTOR OF THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Mikel H. Williams United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

INTRODUCTION

The Court previously denied Respondent's Motion for Summary Judgment in this habeas corpus matter without prejudice and appointed counsel to represent Petitioner. (Dkt. 30, p. 1.) Petitioner's counsel has now filed a Supplemental Brief, and Respondent has submitted a Reply. (Dkts. 31, 36.)

The parties have consented to a United States Magistrate Judge conducting all proceedings, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (Dkt. 10.) The Court finds that decisional process would not be aided by oral argument, and it will resolve this matter on the record after consideration of the parties' written submissions. D. Idaho L. Civ. R. 7.1(d). For the reasons that follow, the Court concludes that Petitioner is not entitled to relief, and this case will be dismissed.

BACKGROUND

In 2005, the State of Idaho charged Petitioner with one count of the "infamous crime against nature" under Idaho Code § 18-6605, based on an incident in which he performed oral sex on T.F., an adult male with Down Syndrome, in the sauna room at a local gym. (State's Lodging A-1, pp. 14-15.) Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the charge, arguing that the statute unconstitutionally criminalized private and consensual sexual activity contrary to Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003). (State's Lodging A-1, pp. 20-25.) The State responded that the sexual contact in this case was not consensual and that the act had occurred in a public place. (State's Lodging A-1, pp. 27-31.)

In denying Petitioner's motion to dismiss, the trial court concluded that he had not established a protected privacy interest:

[I]f the State's interest is overridden by a privacy interest, then it would be the Court's job to find the statute unconstitutional as it's applied.

And based on what I -- at least factually what I'm aware of in this case, I don't think that there's any protected privacy interest involved in this particular case. (State's Lodging A-2, p. 19.)

Petitioner later entered a conditional plea of guilty to the charge while reserving his right to appeal the denial of his motion to dismiss. (State's Lodging A-1, p. 73.) At the change of plea hearing, the prosecutor set out the evidence that the State would have presented if the case had gone to trial:

[T.F.] would testify that on June 17th of 2005, he was at the World Gym, as is his custom; that he arrived there by valley transit; that he completed his workout and went into the sauna, the dry sauna. In the dry sauna was another individual that Mr. Cook [sic] had not seen at the gym before. He would testify that when he went into the sauna, he was nude, as was the other individual in the sauna; that the other individual came up to him and essentially began to perform oral sex on [T.F.]

[T.F.] said that when it was over, that the other individual had also been masturbating himself and that white substance came out of the other individual's penis on Mr. Cook [sic]; that Mr. Cook [sic] left the sauna, took a shower and immediately left the gym when he called his brother-in-law, Andy Johnson, to find out what he should do.

Mr. Johnson would testify that he did receive a telephone call from [T.F.] on that date; that [T.F.] was very upset; and that Mr. Johnson told [T.F.]to return home by valley transit, and he would meet him at home.

Detective Stuck would testify that he interviewed [Petitioner] and that during the course of that interview, that [Petitioner] admitted to the act that he is charged with today with performing oral sex on [T.F.] He also admitted that he realized that [T.F.] had Down Syndrome, but that he believed at the time that [T.F.] was consenting. (State's Lodging A-2, pp. 80-81.) At that same hearing, Petitioner admitted that he "did the conduct under the ...


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