United States District Court, N.D. Indiana
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN, CHIEF JUDGE
Snider, a pro se prisoner, filed a Motion to Reconsider [ECF
No. 24]. Snider asks the Court to reconsider its Order [ECF
No. 21] denying his Habeas Corpus Petition [ECF No. 1]
challenging his conviction and 60-year sentence for child
April 13, 2017, the Court found that the claims in
Snider's Petition were procedurally defaulted. In his
Motion to Reconsider, Snider claims actual innocence by
arguing that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient
to have proven that his victim was under the age of 14.
Snider raised this argument in his Petition, which the Court
rejected. “Reconsideration is not an appropriate forum
for rehashing previously rejected arguments . . . .”
Caisse Nationale de Credit Agricole v. CBI Indus.,
Inc., 90 F.3d 1264, 1270 (7th Cir.1996).
as the Court previously explained, while actual innocence can
excuse procedural default, a petitioner who asserts actual
innocence “must demonstrate innocence; the burden is
his, not the state's . . . .” Buie v.
McAdory, 341 F.3d 623, 626-27 (7th Cir. 2003). To do so,
he must come forward “with new reliable
evidence-whether it be exculpatory scientific evidence,
trustworthy eyewitness accounts, or critical physical
evidence-that was not presented at trial.” Schlup
v. Delo, 513 U.S. 298, 324 (1995). Snider did not, and
still does not, provide any new evidence. Thus, he has not
demonstrated actual innocence.
he again argues that there was insufficient evidence
presented at trial to convict him of child molestation.
Although sufficiency of the evidence is not an argument that
can lead to an actual innocence finding, the Court will
nevertheless address it. Though Snider argues that there was
no evidence presented during his trial which demonstrated
that his victim was under 14, that is not true. The Indiana
Court of Appeals found:
In 2001, Snider was renting a room in J.K.'s three
bedroom house in South Bend, Indiana. J.K. also rented out a
room to F.L. and F.L.'s minor daughter, B.A., born on
July 19, 1989. During that time, J.K. resided with her
daughter, M.W., and M.W.'s minor daughter, M.C., born on
September 2, 1987. The record shows that M.W. and M.C. moved
out of J.K.'s house but would frequently visit. For the
times that M.C. was at J.K.'s house for a visit, she
would spend time with B.A., and they became friends.
According to M.W., in the spring of 2001, whenever she and
M.C. visited J.K. in her Sound (sic) Bend home, she observed
B.A. spending a significant amount of time in Snider's
room, both with the door open and closed. M.C. would often
join B.A. and Snider in the room, but M.W. made sure the door
was open at all times. In the summer of 2001, B.A.'s and
M.C.'s relationship with Snider became sexual. Snider
kissed B.A. and he also began touching her breasts and
vagina, both over and under her clothes. Snider also
performed oral sex on B.A., and B.A. discovered that Snider
was not circumcised. These events partly occurred in
Snider's room, and in R.M.'s-Snider's
girlfriend-apartment in Mishawaka, Indiana. M.C. was often
present when these events occurred. On one afternoon in his
room at J.K.'s house, Snider performed oral sex on M.C.
in front of B.A. In addition, M.C. performed oral sex on
Snider after watching Snider perform oral sex on B.A. M.C.
also fondled Snider's penis until he ejaculated. When
B.A. left the room, Snider threatened to kill M.C. if she
disclosed to anyone what had transpired.
After a 4th of July party at R.M.'s apartment, R.M.
observed Snider kiss B.A. and also slap B.A. on her buttocks.
R.M. informed Snider that she had seen him, and she
reprimanded him for his inappropriate conduct with B.A.
Snider responded by stating that it had been ongoing. On
another occasion that summer, B.A. and M.C. went to
R.M.'s apartment. R.M., at Snider's directive,
instructed B.A. and M.C. to put on lingerie. Once the girls
were dressed, Snider performed oral sex on B.A. Snider then
asked R.M. to perform oral sex on him, which she did. Snider
also performed oral sex on M.C. Snider then asked B.A. to
have intercourse, but B.A. refused. At some point, M.C.
became uncomfortable and she tried calling for a ride home.
Both Snider and R.M. seized the phone from M.C. and hid it.
M.C. spent the night at R.M.'s apartment.
In the fall of 2001, B.A. moved to Elkhart, Indiana but soon
returned to South Bend and her sexual relationship with
Snider resumed. Snider continued to engage in oral sex with
B.A. and Snider promised B.A. that he was going to marry her.
In April of 2002, B.A. confided in F.L. about being molested
by Snider. As a concerned mother, F.L. called M.W. and
advised her to talk to M.C. When M.W. questioned M.C., M.C.
began crying and said, “I don't want to tell
you.” The following day, M.W. contacted police.
Snider v. State, No. 71D02-0511-PC-42, slip op. at
*2-4 (Ind.Ct.App. Sept. 15, 2015).
court of appeals' factual findings were not unreasonable.
The evidence revealed that the victim's birth date was
September 2, 1987. (Trial Tr. 433). Thus, she did not reach
her fourteenth birthday until September 2, 2001. During the
trial, there were numerous references to the fact that the
victim had sexual relations with Snider throughout the Spring
and Summer of 2001. (Id. 66-76, 512-26, 566-71.)
Though the dates were not precise, they did not have to be.
Barger v. State, 587 N.E.2d 1304, 1306-07 (Ind.
1992). This is evidence that some of the molestation took
place before the victim turned fourteen years of age. Thus,
this evidence was sufficient for a jury to conclude that the
victim was thirteen years old when the child molesting
final matter, the documents Snider provided in the
“Appellant's Appendix of Evidence to Support the
Appeal Brief, ” further solidify this Court's
conclusion that Snider is not actually innocent of child
molestation. Though the jury did not consider these
documents-and this Court does not consider them regarding
whether there was sufficient evidence to support his
conviction-the South Bend Police Department's
investigative report and the prosecutor's sworn affidavit
both reveal that Snider started molesting the victim when she
was 13 years of age and continued to do so past her
fourteenth birthday. This evidence further solidifies this
Court's confidence in the outcome of the trial court that
no miscarriage of justice occurred. See Schlup, 513
U.S. at 324 (habeas petitioner must prove that “a
constitutional violation has resulted in the conviction of
one who is actually innocent of the crime.”).
these reasons, the Motion to Reconsider [ECF ...