This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Wayne Roger Hartman,
Filed January 11, 2005
Scott County District Court
File No. K-03-11764
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; and
Patrick J. Ciliberto, Scott County Attorney, Michael J. Groh, Assistant County Attorney, Scott County Government Center, 200 Fourth Avenue West, Shakopee, MN 55379 (for respondent)
Eric J. Nelson, Allan H. Caplan & Associates, P.A., 525 Lumber Exchange Building, 10 South Fifth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Stoneburner, Presiding Judge; Harten, Judge; and Shumaker, Judge.
Appellant Wayne Roger Hartman challenges the district court’s denial of his motion to withdraw his Alford plea, arguing that the condition that he admit guilt as part of sex-offender treatment violates its terms. Because appellant’s plea and its conditions remain lawfully valid, we affirm.
The mother of a developmentally delayed 16-year-old girl (the victim) reported to police that her daughter had been sexually assaulted by appellant, whom the daughter met through a telephone dating service. Appellant invited the victim to stay at his apartment for two days during which he engaged in sexual contact and penetration with her.
Appellant was charged with two counts of third-degree and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. He repeatedly denied guilt to his defense counsel and was ready to proceed with trial. After approximately three-and-a-half to four hours in court before the beginning of jury selection, he decided to accept a plea bargain and pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct using an Alford plea.
After his plea was accepted and before sentencing, appellant met with a probation officer who, appellant claims, first told him that as a condition of probation, he would likely have to admit guilt in order to be accepted into a sex-offender treatment program. Appellant quickly moved to withdraw his plea, arguing that the condition would require him to violate his probation because he would refuse to admit guilt. The district court denied appellant’s motion and proceeded to sentencing. At the sentencing hearing, appellant claimed that he felt pressured to accept the guilty plea. Appellant again requested that the district court reconsider his plea withdrawal motion, but the district court denied his request. Appellant was sentenced to six months in jail followed by ten years’ probation. Appellant challenges the district court’s denial of his motion to withdraw his plea.
1. Manifest Injustice
A motion to withdraw a plea based on the manifest injustice standard can be brought before or after sentencing. State v. Abdisalan, 661 N.W.2d 691, 693 (Minn. App. 2003), review denied (Minn. 19 Aug. 2003). A manifest injustice does not occur when there is a valid guilty plea. Perkins v. State, 559 N.W.2d 678, 688 (Minn. 1997). To be valid, a guilty plea must be accurate, voluntary and intelligent. State v. Wukawitz, 662 N.W.2d 517, 521 (Minn. 2003).
Appellant does not dispute that his plea was accurate and voluntary, but he asserts that it was not intelligent. A defendant’s plea is intelligently entered when he or she “understands the charges, the rights being waived and the consequences of the guilty plea.” Brown v. State, 449 N.W.2d 180, 182 (Minn. 1989). The court should not accept a plea if it is doubtful that it is made intelligently. State v. Jones, 267 Minn. 421, 427, 127 N.W.2d 153, 157 (1964).
A collateral consequence of a guilty plea is defined as any consequence that does not flow definitely, immediately, and automatically from a guilty plea. State v. Henthorne, 637 N.W.2d 852, 856 (Minn. App. 2002), review denied (Minn. 27 Mar. 2002). Ignorance of a collateral consequence does not result in an unintelligent plea. See Alanis v. State, 583 N.W.2d 573 (Minn. 1998) (failure to inform the defendant of deportation was a collateral, not direct, consequence and did not result in a manifest injustice requiring plea withdrawal); Berkow v. State, 583 N.W.2d 562 (Minn. 1998) (deportation as a collateral consequence of a guilty plea did not allow withdrawal of a guilty plea). While the collateral consequence addressed in these cases was deportation, their precedent applies to all collateral consequences. See Alanis, 583 N.W.2d at 578 (“While we have said that for a guilty plea to be intelligent the defendant must be aware of the consequences of pleading guilty, it is the direct consequences of the guilty plea to which we refer.”).
The state asserts that because it is speculative, admission of guilt to obtain sex-offender treatment is a collateral consequence, not a direct consequence, of appellant’s plea. Moreover, appellant’s counsel conceded at oral argument that appellant’s admission of guilt to obtain sex-offender treatment is a collateral consequence of a guilty plea. We conclude that this treatment consequence does not render appellant’s plea unintelligent.
2. Fairness and Justice
Appellant contends that the interests of fairness and justice compel withdrawal of his guilty plea. A court may, in its discretion, permit a defendant to withdraw a plea before sentencing “if it is fair and just to do so, giving due consideration to the reasons advanced by the defendant in support of the motion and any prejudice the granting of the motion would cause the prosecution by reason of actions taken in reliance upon the defendant’s plea.” Minn. R. Crim. P. 15.05, subd. 2. The showing required to withdraw a plea before sentencing is less than that required to withdraw a plea at any time to correct a “manifest injustice.” State v. Williams, 373 N.W.2d 851, 853 (Minn. App. 1985) (comparing “fair and just” to the “manifest injustice” showing required under Minn. R. Crim. P. 15.05, subd. 1). But a defendant is not given wide latitude to withdraw his plea without good reason because doing so “would undermine the integrity of the plea-taking process” and permit a defendant to use the guilty plea to lengthen the proceedings. Kim v. State,434 N.W.2d 263, 266 (Minn. 1989). The defendant bears the burden of showing that plea withdrawal is fair and just. Id. A reviewing court will not reverse a district court’s decision on allowing plea withdrawal under the fair and just standard absent an abuse of discretion. State v. Kaiser, 469 N.W.2d 316, 320 (Minn. 1991).
Here, appellant argues that plea withdrawal is fair and just because he did not learn that he might be required to admit guilt as part of sex-offender treatment until after he made his plea. But ignorance of a collateral consequence does not make plea withdrawal fair and just. Henthorne, 637 N.W.2d at 856 (citing Kim v. State, 434 N.W.2d 263, 266-67 (Minn. 1989) (ignorance of collateral consequence is not fair and just reason to withdraw plea)). Thus, appellant’s ignorance of the requirement that he admit guilt to obtain sex-offender treatment was a collateral consequence of his plea that did not make withdrawal of his guilty plea fair and just.
Next, appellant argues it would be fair and just to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea because he professed his innocence from the outset as evidenced by his entry of an Alford plea. An Alford plea, however, presumes that the entrant professes his innocence but believes that the evidence against him is sufficient to persuade a jury to convict him. State v. Ecker, 524 N.W.2d 712, 716 (Minn. 1994). Accordingly, a defendant may both maintain his innocence and choose to enter and subject himself to the conditions of an Alford plea due to his belief in the strength of the evidence against him. But entering an Alford plea does not “afford [a person] a protected liberty interest in denying conduct for which he has been lawfully convicted.” Northwest v. LaFleur, 583 N.W.2d 589, 591 (Minn. App. 1998), review denied (Minn. 17 Nov. 1998). Thus, the fact that appellant professed his innocence and opted to enter an Alford plea does not make it fair and just to allow plea withdrawal.
Finally, appellant argues that it would be fair and just to allow withdrawal of his guilty plea because it would cause minimal prejudice to the state. But the district court can consider the interests of the victim when making this determination. Kim, 434 N.W.2d at 267. Here, the victim is a 16-year-old girl with some reduced developmental capabilities. Telling this victim that she must testify about the sexual contact after she was told she would not have to testify and after an additional time lapse could prejudice the state. Appellant has neither met his burden of proving that plea withdrawal is fair and just nor shown that the district court abused its discretion in denying the plea withdrawal.
 While appellant’s plea began as an Alford plea, in which a defendant does not concede guilt, the transcript of the plea and the written petition to enter plea record leave room for doubt on whether appellant truly entered an Alford, as opposed to a standard, guilty plea. Nonetheless, for the purposes of this appeal we assume, without deciding, that appellant entered his plea on an Alford basis.