ROBERT E. THOMPSON
COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTION
April 9, 2018
petition for a writ of habeas corpus, brought to the Superior
Court in the judicial district of Tolland and tried to the
court, Sferrazza, J.; judgment denying the petition,
from which the petitioner, on the granting of certification,
appealed to this court. Affirmed.
A. Beattie, assigned counsel, for the appellant (petitioner).
Currie-Zeffiro, assistant state's attorney, with whom, on
the brief, were Patrick J. Griffin, state's attorney, and
Adrienne Russo, deputy assistant state's attorney, for
the appellee (respondent).
Prescott, Elgo and Blawie, Js.
petitioner, Robert E. Thompson, appeals from the judgment of
the habeas court denying his amended petition for a writ of
habeas corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the
court improperly concluded that he failed to prove, by a
preponderance of the evidence, that his trial counsel
rendered deficient performance because he failed to move for
a mistrial or to seek any curative measures following
prejudicial testimony from the complainant. We disagree and,
accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.
following facts and procedural history are relevant to our
resolution of this appeal. The petitioner was charged with
accosting a woman that he had approached on a New Haven
street, and luring her to a residence under the guise of
joining a local church group. Following a jury trial, the
petitioner was convicted of kidnapping in the first degree in
violation of General Statutes § 53a-92, sexual assault
in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §
53a-70, assault in the third degree in violation of General
Statutes § 53a-61, and threatening in the second degree
in violation of General Statutes § 53a-62. Attorney
Tejas Bhatt represented the petitioner at his criminal trial.
Bhatt's assessment was that the outcome of the case
hinged on the credibility of the complainant, whom the state
called to testify at the criminal trial. During the direct
examination of the complainant, the following exchange
‘‘[The Prosecutor]: What led him-what-what
happened when he hit you? What led him to hit you?
‘‘[The Complainant]: He told me to take my
clothes off. . . .
‘‘[The Prosecutor]: Did you-were you telling him
‘‘[The Complainant]: Yes.
‘‘[The Prosecutor]: And what did you-what else
did you say to him?
‘‘[The Complainant]: I asked him, why you doing
this to me, and he said, I'm ...