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United States v. Anaya

May 27, 2010


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Karen E. Schreier Chief Judge


Defendant, Charles Dean Anaya, is charged with one count of aggravated sexual abuse in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2241(c), 2246(2)(D), and 1153. Anaya moves to suppress statements he made to law enforcement officers on December 10, 2008, and March 12, 2009. The court referred Anaya's motion to suppress to Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). After holding an evidentiary hearing, Magistrate Judge Duffy recommended that this court deny Anaya's motion to suppress. Anaya objects to Magistrate Judge Duffy's factual and legal findings that the December 10, 2008, interview was not a custodial interrogation; that the Miranda advisements on March 12, 2009, were complete and accurate; that Anaya's Miranda waiver on March 12, 2009, was voluntary, knowing, and intelligent; that Anaya's statements were voluntary; and that Anaya's statements on December 10, 2008, and March 12, 2009, should not be suppressed. The government has no objection to Magistrate Judge Duffy's report and recommendation. After a de novo review of Magistrate Judge Duffy's report and recommendation and a review of the record, the court adopts the report and recommendation as supplemented herein.


Under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), "when a party objects to the report and recommendation of a magistrate judge concerning a dispositive matter, '[a] judge of the court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.' " United States v. Lothridge, 324 F.3d 599, 600 (8th Cir. 2003) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b) ("The district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to.").


The court agrees with Magistrate Judge Duffy's detailed and exhaustive findings of fact and adopts them in full. Because Anaya makes a number of factual assertions in his objections to Magistrate Judge Duffy's report and recommendation, the court makes the following findings of fact. Anaya is charged with aggravated sexual abuse of the daughter of his former girlfriend. The inappropriate sexual contact allegedly occurred between 2003 and 2004, when the alleged victim was eleven or twelve years old.

On December 10, 2008, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents Charles Blackburn and Sherry Rice went to the Anaya's place of employment, the Cangleska Women's Shelter in Kyle, South Dakota, to interview Anaya about this allegation. Anaya was working outside when the agents arrived. Agent Blackburn approached Anaya, identified himself as an FBI agent, and told Anaya that he would like to talk to him for a few minutes inside the building. Anaya agreed to talk with Agent Blackburn. On the way to the building, Agent Blackburn told Anaya that he was not under arrest and that he would not be arrested at the end of the interview. Agent Blackburn did not notice anything out of the ordinary about Anaya's demeanor and appearance.

When Agent Blackburn and Anaya got inside the building, Agent Blackburn introduced Anaya to Agent Rice and informed him again that he was not under arrest and was not going to be arrested at the end of the interview. Agent Blackburn also informed Anaya that the interview was entirely voluntary, that Anaya did not have to talk to the agents if he did not want to, and that he could leave the interview room at any time. Neither Agent Blackburn nor Agent Rice advised Anaya of his Miranda rights. Agent Blackburn did not suggest that Anaya should contact an attorney or inform Anaya of the maximum penalty for the offense alleged against him.

The interview took place in an office inside the Cangleska Women's Shelter. The room was about ten-feet by ten-feet and contained a small desk and some chairs. It had an exterior window and a door to the rest of the building. The door was unlocked throughout the interview, but Agent Blackburn does not recall if he informed Anaya that the door was unlocked. Agent Blackburn did show Anaya the door of the room. Agent Blackburn was dressed in khaki or cargo pants, a long-sleeved, button-up shirt, and a jacket the morning of the interview. Neither Agent Blackburn nor Agent Rice had their weapons displayed during the interview.

Agent Blackburn explained to Anaya that there had been an allegation of sexual abuse made against him and that the agents would like to speak with him regarding the allegation. At this point, Agent Blackburn noticed that Anaya's hands were shaking. Agent Blackburn asked Anaya about his hands, and Anaya indicated that his hands were trembling because he had consumed too much caffeine that morning. Agent Blackburn continued the interview with Anaya. Anaya told the agents about his relationship with the alleged victim's mother and denied having any kind of sexual contact with the alleged victim. Agent Blackburn and Agent Rice asked Anaya why the alleged victim would make up such an allegation if it were not true, and Anaya did not provide an explanation. Agent Rice asked the defendant if there was anything that may have happened that would cause the alleged victim to think that the defendant touched her in an inappropriate manner. Anaya recalled that he used to engage in tickling matches with the alleged victim's mother and the alleged victim, and that his hands may have gone other places during one of those matches. Shortly after this statement, the interview ended, and Anaya told Agent Blackburn he would continue to think about the time he dated the alleged victim's mother and would call Agent Blackburn if he could remember any further details. Agent Blackburn gave Anaya his business card. Agent Blackburn did not ask Anaya if he would be interested in taking a polygraph exam during this interview.

The interview lasted from about 11:55 a.m. to 12:49 p.m. The agents used conversational tones throughout the interview. Neither agent raised his or her voice or shouted, even when they asked Anaya why the victim would allege that she was sexually abused if it was not true.

Agent Blackburn's next interaction with Anaya was on February 2, 2009. On that day, Agent Blackburn went to a residence located near Kyle, South Dakota, to locate Anaya and to ask him if he was willing to submit to a polygraph exam. Agent Blackburn met with Anaya in the driveway of the residence. They sat in the front seat of Agent Blackburn's car. Agent Blackburn asked Anaya if he would be willing to take a polygraph exam, and Anaya agreed. Agent Blackburn does not remember if Anaya asked what a polygraph exam was or if he explained it. Agent Blackburn did not discuss the admissibility or reliability of a polygraph exam with Anaya. Agent Blackburn denies stating that a polygraph exam is 99 percent accurate. Agent Blackburn asked Anaya if he was taking any medications or had any other medical conditions. Anaya informed Agent Blackburn that he gets panic attacks and previously took an antidepressant, but that he stopped taking it seven years ago. Agent Blackburn told Anaya that he would contact him to arrange the date and time of the polygraph exam. Agent Blackburn was dressed casually and did not display his weapon during this conversation.

Agent Blackburn arranged to conduct the polygraph exam on March 12, 2009, at the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) office in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. He asked Anaya if he needed transportation from Kyle to Pine Ridge, and Anaya indicated that he would need a ride to Pine Ridge. Agent Blackburn and Anaya met at the Kyle Police Department at about 8:20 a.m. on March 12, 2009. Agent Blackburn greeted Anaya and observed that he was calm. He did not observe any shaking or trembling. Agent Blackburn asked Anaya to ride in the front seat of his car and received Anaya's permission to pat him down to check for weapons. Agent Blackburn patted down the exterior of Anaya's clothing.

Before starting the car, Agent Blackburn informed Anaya that he was not under arrest and would not be arrested at the end of the interview and polygraph exam, that the interview and polygraph exam were entirely voluntary, that Anaya did not have to go with Agent Blackburn, and that if Anaya wished to end the interview or polygraph exam at any time, Agent Blackburn would take him home. During the 50-minute drive, Agent Blackburn and Anaya talked about Anaya's construction work and his time in Roswell, New Mexico. The tone of the conversation was calm and conversational. Anaya was not handcuffed, and Agent Blackburn did not smell any alcohol on Anaya.

Agent Blackburn and Anaya arrived at the BIA office at about 9:14 a.m. and went into the private office where the interview took place at about 9:30 a.m. Agent Blackburn introduced Anaya to Agent Todd Dawson, who was waiting in the interview room. The interview room was a private office within the BIA office on the second floor of the building. The office was approximately eight- to ten-feet by ten-feet and contained a desk and some chairs. The polygraph instrument, which consists of a laptop computer, a digital acquisition system box, electrodermal activity plates, finger plates, a blood pressure cuff, two pneumograph tubes, and a motion sensor, was on the desk. The office had an exterior window that was covered by a shade. The door was shut throughout the interview and polygraph exam. Agent Blackburn was wearing casual clothing and his weapon was not exposed. Agent Dawson was wearing a suit and tie and did not have a weapon.

Agent Dawson explained that he would be conducting a polygraph exam. He did not discuss the reliability or admissibility of a polygraph exam, and he denies that he told Anaya that the results of a polygraph exam are 99 percent accurate. Agent Dawson observed that Anaya seemed calm, collected, and alert. At the beginning of the interview, Agent Dawson and Anaya sat in the chairs in front of the desk, with Anaya sitting closest to the door, and Agent Blackburn stood in the corner of the room against the wall. Agent Dawson did not smell alcohol or suspect that Anaya had been drinking or using other controlled substances. He did not test Anaya's blood, breath, or urine for controlled substances.

Agent Dawson advised Anaya of his Miranda rights by showing him an advice of rights form on the laptop computer. Agent Dawson asked Anaya to read the first line of the advice of rights form aloud to demonstrate that he could read. Anaya did not have any problems reading the line. Then Agent Dawson read each right one-by-one, explained it in other words, and asked Anaya to initial next to each right using a digital signature pad if he understood the right and did not have any questions about it. After initialing each right, Anaya signed the bottom of the form.*fn1 Then Agent Dawson went over a polygraph consent form with Anaya. He read the form out loud, explained that the exam would be about whether Anaya touched the alleged victim's vagina in a sexual manner underneath her clothing, explained Anaya's rights, and had Anaya initial next to each right.*fn2 Agent Dawson also asked Anaya to initial certain boxes on the form to indicate that Anaya understood that the room did not contain an observation device and that the examination would not be monitored and recorded. Then Anaya signed the bottom of the form. Anaya indicated that he understood the form, and Agent Dawson did not observe anything that made him doubt that Anaya understood the form. Agent Blackburn watched Anaya sign the advice of rights and polygraph consent forms and observed that Anaya did not indicate that he had questions or did not understand his rights. Agent Blackburn perceived Anaya to be calm and relaxed. After Anaya signed both forms, Agent Blackburn left the room.

Agent Dawson continued the "pretest interview" by asking Anaya questions about his background. Anaya indicated that he graduated from high school in 1990 and had worked as a construction worker and carpenter. Anaya also stated that he had chronic shoulder pain, but was not in serious pain at the time of the interview. Anaya stated that he had occasional anxiety attacks, but that he was not having an anxiety attack at the time and had not had any in the past few weeks or months. Anaya said that he had attempted suicide by taking Tylenol tablets in 2001. Anaya stated that his current emotional health was okay and that he was not seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist. Anaya was not taking any over-the-counter drugs and slept seven hours the night before. During this portion of the interview, Agent Dawson did not see anything that would indicate that Anaya was having an anxiety attack. Anaya's hands were not shaking, he answered questions and followed the conversation very well, and he was not sweating. Agent Dawson told Anaya the nature of the charges against him and went over the questions Anaya would be asked during the polygraph exam.*fn3

At about 10:37 a.m., Agent Dawson began the polygraph exam. He attached the polygraph components to Anaya. He did not notice any change in Anaya's physical demeanor or behavior. During the exam, Agent Dawson moved behind the desk so that he was out of Anaya's field of vision. Agent Dawson was seated to the side and back of Anaya. Anaya denied touching the alleged victim each time he was asked. Agent Dawson determined that Anaya was being deceptive as to the relevant questions. The exam was completed at 10:56 a.m.

Agent Dawson walked around the desk so he could talk to Anaya face-to-face and informed Anaya that he did not pass the exam. Agent Dawson sat in the chair that he sat in at the beginning of the interview. He did not raise his voice, threaten Anaya, or make any promises to Anaya. Agent Dawson told Anaya that he was not there to judge him and suggested that there may be reasons to explain how the alleged incident happened, such as intoxication. At some point after informing Anaya that he did not pass the exam, Agent Dawson removed the polygraph components. Anaya's demeanor did not change significantly during this conversation, but he looked down and was quiet. He was not shaky. Eventually, Anaya made an admission, and Agent Dawson asked questions to fill in the details of the admission. Agent Dawson denies that he demonstrated on his own body what might have happened or that Anaya asked Agent Dawson what he wanted to hear.

Agent Dawson asked Agent Blackburn to come back into the interview room at 11:45 a.m. Agent Dawson sat in the chair behind the desk, and Agent Blackburn sat in the other chair on the same side of the desk as Anaya about three or four feet away from him. Agent Blackburn did not notice any shakiness or other change in Anaya's demeanor. After Agent ...

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