Supreme Court rejects third appeal in child porn case | NevadaAppeal.com

Supreme Court rejects third appeal in child porn case

Appeal Capitol Bureau

The Nevada Supreme Court has refused to give Frank John Degrasse a third chance at overturning his child pornography conviction.

Degrasse was sentenced in 1996 to serve two life sentences with possible parole after five years for using a minor in producing pornography.

He petitioned in 1997 saying he had asked attorneys to file a direct appeal in his case but they failed to do so. The high court ruled the district court should conduct an evidentiary hearing into that issue. The hearing was held and Degrasse’s petition for relief was again denied.

He got another change after appealing on grounds his counsel was ineffective. The court agreed and ordered another hearing with appointed counsel to help Degrasse with his habeas petition raising direct appeal claims.

Again the district court denied the petition.

Degrasse then appealed saying he should not have been allowed to plead guilty at the original trial because he was incompetent, suffering from health problems and mental stress. He said he was unable to understand his rights and unable to understand his options. He said a competency hearing should have been ordered in his case.

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This time, the Supreme Court disagreed saying the court didn’t abuse its discretion in failing to order a competency hearing. They ruled that he understood the negotiations and the constitutional rights he was waiving and understood the potential sentence he was facing.

In a separate case, the court also rejected a habeas corpus petition from John Batchelor, who is trying to overturn his conviction on three counts of sexually assaulting a child under age 14. Batchelor received three consecutive life sentences.

He argued the sentence was excessive, that his counsel was ineffective and that the court abused its discretion by imposing consecutive sentences.

The high court rejected all of his claims.

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