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Trapp v. Corsini

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

September 12, 2016

DOUGLAS TRAPP, Petitioner,



         Petitioner Douglas Trapp (“Trapp”), proceeding pro se, filed a one-ground petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, stemming from the revocation of his probation. Doc. No. 1. Respondent Michael Corsini (“Corsini”) has submitted an opposition to Trapp's petition, raising three grounds for denial. Doc. No. 36.[1] As explained below, Trapp's petition is DENIED.


         A. Initial Background

         On May 2, 2005, Trapp pled guilty to a two-count indictment of rape of a child and indecent assault and battery of a person over the age of fourteen. Doc. No. 36-1 at 5. He received a prison sentence of between four and five years for the former offense, and three years of probation from and after for the latter offense. Id. Among other probation conditions, Trapp had to undergo mental health counselling and receive sex offender treatment. Id. at 6. Trapp finished his term of imprisonment on November 9, 2009. Id.

         On June 1, 2010, Trapp appeared before a state court judge for violating the aforementioned mental health counseling and sex offender treatment conditions. Id. The judge ordered him to meet this conditions and found him in violation of his parole. Id. On June 9, 2010, Trapp's probation transferred to Middlesex County. Id.

         B. Revocation of Trapp's Probation

         Ingrid Nersessian of the Middlesex Probation Department, and the person in charge of Trapp's probation, filed a notice with the Middlesex Superior Court regarding Trapp's purported parole violations, and the Middlesex Superior Court held a hearing which began on September 1, 2010. See id. at 2. Nersessian testified that Trapp's “probation has been very, very difficult right from the first office visit, ” id. at 6-7, and that he has not at all “complied with either getting a mental health evaluation or participating in sex-offender treatment, ” and “in fact . . . has made it impossible with the local health community to do that.” Id. at 12. Trapp continually maintained that the mental health and sex offender treatment conditions were waived on June 1, 2010, and denied he had committed the underlying crimes. Id. at 7. After Trapp's continued obstinacies, he agreed to meet with the sex-offender treatment program, purportedly for an intake. See id. However, at that intake meeting, he (according to a note sent to Nersessian) refused to “participate in group because it's nobody's business what he did or didn't do, and he doesn't want to hear anyone else's business, and that the result by that treatment provider was that the group process is not appropriate for him and he raised the question mark of mental illness.” Id.

         Nersessian further testified that after Trapp resisted group therapy, she set up a meeting between Trapp and Sharon Redmond, an intake worker at the Counseling and Psychotherapy Center (“CPC”) Area Coordinator, to arrange for individual counseling for Trapp. Id. at 8. At this phone meeting, Nersessian testified, Trapp “made threats against me which alarmed [Redmond] so much that she called me on my cell phone immediately.” Id. Specifically, Redmond told Nersessian that Trapp “said he had no choice but he would go to court on Monday and destroy you [meaning Nersessian].” Id. at 14. Based off “the nature of th[is] discussion, ” Redmond never continued pursuing individual counseling options for Trapp at CPC. Id. at 15.

         Nersessian testified that she then began pursuing treatment options for Trapp at the Tri-City/Elliot Center (“TCEC”), the only facility that would take Trapp, a level three sex offender. Id. at 15-16. She had successfully arranged for TCEC to do an intake of Trapp. Id. at 16. On July 21, 2010, Nersessian gave Trapp a form regarding the mental health evaluation TCEC would perform at the intake, which Trapp signed. Id. She also left Trapp a phone message and sent him a letter reminding him to follow up with this intake and that he could not receive treatment until he completed a mental health evaluation. Id. at 18. Trapp resisted this, saying he was only obligated to receive mental health treatment, and not undergo a mental health evaluation. Id.

         Nersessian further testified that on August 24, 2010, she received a phone call from a TCEC clinical director regarding Trapp. Id. at 19. Trapp had come in and said “he has absolutely no idea why he's here, ” refused “to cooperate in mental health evaluation and treatment, ” again reiterated that “it's nobody's business, ” and said, “[h]e's not going to do it.” Id. at 20. Nersessian summed up Trapp's situation thusly:

So we're stuck. We're stuck on three points. He has not cooperated with the sex offender counseling, and has told them that that he's not going to. He has talked his way out of mental health treatment. And three, he's made it with this threat against me-not safe to go to his home-and we're required to go to the sex-offender person's home . . . . He was quite belligerent in the office during meetings as well.


         Trapp testified at the second day of the hearing. Id. at 42. He again asserted that undergoing a mental health evaluation was not one of his probation conditions. Id. He also testified that his insurer would not cover the cost of a mental health evaluation, id. at 43. He further testified that his only income is a Social Security Disability Insurance check, from which the federal government garnishes a portion, and that once he spends money on basic living expenses, he has almost nothing left over. Id. at 44. At the hearing, Trapp did not provide any evidence of his financials. On direct examination, ...

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