This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Gregory A. Peterson, petitioner,
State of Minnesota,
Koochiching County District Court
File No. K20066
John S. Lind, 920 Alworth Building, Duluth, MN 55802 (for appellant)
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, John B. Galus, Assistant Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103; and
David C. Johnson, Koochiching County Attorney, Koochiching County Courthouse, 715 Fourth Street, International Falls, MN 56649 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Klaphake, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant Gregory A. Peterson challenges the district court’s denial of his postsentencing motion to withdraw his guilty plea to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct under Minn. Stat. § 609.345, subd. 1(b) (1998). Appellant contends the district court abused its discretion in finding his plea was accurate, voluntary, and supported by an adequate factual basis. We affirm.
A reviewing court will reverse the district court’s determination of whether to permit withdrawal of a guilty plea only if the district court abused its discretion. Barragan v. State, 583 N.W.2d 571, 572 (Minn. 1998). When credibility determinations are crucial in determining whether a guilty plea was accurate, voluntary, and intelligent, “a reviewing court will give deference to the primary observations and trustworthiness assessments made by the district court.” State v. Aviles-Alvarez, 561 N.W.2d 523, 527 (Minn. App. 1997) (citations omitted), review denied (Minn. June 11, 1997).
A court may allow a defendant to withdraw a guilty plea if the defendant proves withdrawal is necessary to correct a manifest injustice. Alanis v. State, 583 N.W.2d 573, 577 (Minn. 1998). Manifest injustice exists when a defendant can show the guilty plea was not accurate, voluntary, and intelligent. Alanis, 583 N.W.2d at 577.
Appellant contends that his plea is not accurate and lacks an adequate factual basis because (1) appellant’s trial attorney rather than the judge conducted the interrogation at the plea hearing using only leading questions; (2) the questioning did not adequately establish a factual basis for the plea; (3) the record fails to even identify the victim by name; and (4) the record fails to show under what circumstances appellant was alleged to be in a position of authority over the victim, or any specific touching of body parts. We reject appellant’s contentions.
For a guilty plea to be accurate, it must be supported by a proper factual basis. State v. Ecker, 524 N.W.2d 712, 716 (Minn. 1994). It is the trial judge’s responsibility to ensure that an adequate factual basis has been established in the record. State v. Milton, 295 N.W.2d 94, 95 (Minn. 1980). Although an adequate factual basis is preferably established through the defendant’s own testimony, there is no exclusive method for satisfying the factual basis requirement. Kochevar v. State, 281 N.W.2d 680, 686 (Minn. 1979). Because there is no exclusive method for satisfying the factual basis requirement, the mere fact that appellant’s trial counsel interrogated him on the record instead of the judge is irrelevant.
[I]f the record supports the conclusion that the defendant made a voluntary and intelligent plea, the defendant will not be allowed to withdraw the plea even though the sentencing judge did not ask the questions forming the factual basis, and even though the questions asked were leading questions.
Perkins v. State, 559 N.W.2d 678, 689 (Minn. 1997) (emphasis added) (citation omitted). Consistent with Perkins, we conclude that the fact that appellant was questioned by his attorney who asked leading questions does not entitle him to withdraw his plea.
Appellant’s other two objections to the factual basis are also without merit. In Holscher v. State, 282 N.W.2d 866, 867 (Minn. 1979), the supreme court found an adequate factual basis when the judge who took the plea also presided at the omnibus hearing earlier and had therefore heard testimony from three witnesses. Moreover, in State v. Hoaglund, 240 N.W.2d 4, 6 (Minn. 1976), the supreme court considered the sworn complaint, information charging the defendant with kidnapping, the arraignment and guilty plea transcripts, the sentencing transcript, and the presentence investigation before concluding the factual basis was inadequate. Thus the appropriate record consists not only of the guilty plea transcript, but also the omnibus hearing transcript, the complaint, and other evidence the trial court has in its possession. Here, as in Holscher, the same judge presided over the omnibus hearing and the plea hearing. The transcript of the omnibus hearing identifies the victim by name, demonstrates in what manner appellant was in a position of authority over the victim, and specifies the contact appellant had with the victim. We conclude the factual basis was adequate and that appellant made an accurate plea.
A guilty plea must be voluntary to be valid, which ensures the defendant is not pleading guilty due to improper pressures. Ecker, 524 N.W.2d at 718. Appellant challenges the voluntariness of his plea. Appellant claims the district court abused its discretion by not allowing him to withdraw his plea because it was based on his attorney’s coercion. We disagree.
Appellant alleges by affidavit that during his plea hearing his trial counsel continuously told him to keep quiet or face a lengthy prison sentence. But appellant specifically testified at his plea hearing that no one, including his attorney, promised or threatened appellant or his family in order to obtain a guilty plea from appellant. Further, the court gave appellant the chance to speak at his sentencing hearing two months after the plea hearing and appellant did not raise the issue of coercion. We conclude the district court did not abuse its discretion in determining that appellant entered his plea voluntarily.