This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Filed May 3, 2005
Ramsey County District Court
File No. KX-03-4135
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2134; and
Susan Gaertner, Ramsey County Attorney, Melissa M. Saterbak, Assistant County Attorney, 50 West Kellogg Blvd., Suite 315, St. Paul, MN 55102 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Toussaint, Chief Judge, and Peterson, Judge.
Because his plea was accurate, voluntary, and intelligent, appellant has failed to demonstrate that withdrawal of his plea is necessary to correct a manifest injustice. We therefore affirm.
D E C I S I O N
court shall allow a defendant to withdraw a plea of guilty upon a timely motion
and proof to the satisfaction of the court that withdrawal is necessary to
correct a manifest injustice.” Minn. R.
Crim. P. 15.05, subd. 1. “A manifest
injustice occurs when a plea is not accurate, voluntary, and intelligent.” Alanis v. State, 583 N.W.2d 573, 577 (
Appellant has not identified the basis for his request to withdraw his plea. Based on the record before us, however, the plea had a sufficient factual basis: (1) appellant admitted that he had genital-to-genital contact with J.C.M.; (2) appellant was more than 36 months older than J.C.M.; and (3) appellant acknowledged that J.C.M. was less than 13 years of age, although he claimed that he did not know how old J.C.M. was when the sexual contact occurred. Neither consent nor mistake as to the victim’s age is a defense to this charge. Minn. Stat. § 609.342, subd. 1(a). Thus, the plea was accurate.
The plea was voluntary. There is no indication that appellant was pressured in any way or offered improper inducements. The prosecutor and defense counsel agreed to recommend a sentence representing a 24-month downward durational departure, which was the sentence that was imposed. Further, when appellant refused to plead guilty at the first plea hearing, the district court set the matter on for trial without any attempt to dissuade appellant.
The plea was intelligent. While appellant is not a native English speaker, he was provided with an interpreter throughout the proceedings and has not claimed that the interpreter was incompetent. The plea petition, which appellant went through with his attorney and the interpreter more than once, is written in both Spanish and English, and appellant acknowledged that he could read Spanish. Although appellant at one point in the proceeding stated that he did not understand, he directed no questions to the district court, despite being invited to ask questions. The plea petition specifically enumerated the rights appellant would be giving up if he pleaded guilty, correctly stated the maximum statutory sentence, and correctly described the plea agreement. Appellant also understood well enough to refuse to plead guilty at the first plea hearing when his attorney referred to penetration, rather than sexual contact, as part of the factual basis for the plea.
Because the record establishes that appellant’s plea was accurate, voluntary, and intelligent, there is no manifest injustice that would permit withdrawal of the plea. We therefore affirm.