Charles P. Peterson

Statement of Facts

(1) On or about October 10, 2000, at approximately 11:00 AM, I awoke in my apartment, which is located in Redding, California, to discover that I had been drugged and robbed.  This had been done by Cheyanne S. and Janean K., who had gained access to my apartment for the purpose of baby sitting my five (5) year old son. 

(2) I exited my apartment, the crime scene, and was able to flag-down Officer B. Berg (hereinafter “Berg”) of the Redding Police Department, and informed him that I had just been drugged and robbed.  I also pointed-out and identified the two young ladies who had drugged and robbed me, and described the circumstances. 

(3) Berg then detained the two alleged perpetrators, and conducted a search of their purses.  Therein he found items of my personal property that had been removed from my apartment. 

(4) I informed Berg that my apartment had been ransacked; there were items which did not belong to me left in the apartment, such as beer cans; and, there was $250.00 cash missing.  Also, since this had just happened, I was uncertain about the total extend of the damage. 

(5) Berg then entered the apartment to survey the crime scene while I remained outside. 

(6) When Berg exited the apartment, he produced a very small amount of drugs which he identified as “meth,” and a glass pipe which he allegedly found in the apartment.  I then informed Berg that I had never seen the items before, they were not mine, and they were not in my apartment prior to my being drugged and robbed.  Berg stated one of the alleged perpetrators had told him where to find the items in the apartment.  Berg contaminated the evidence, and failed to properly preserve the evidence, so that fingerprinting could have been used to clear me. 

(7) Berg then arrested me and obtained a search warrant based on: (a) Contaminated evidence that was illegally obtained; (b) statements made by the perpetrators of the drugging and robbery of myself, made in attempt to nullify their own criminal actions; and (c) Racial Profiling, whereas Berg claims I am a drug dealer because I am an Afro-American living in an affluent white conservative neighborhood, and had expensive furnishings in the apartment. 

(8) Upon my OR release from custody, Berg returned to my apartment with four additional officers and a Search Warrant to search for drugs.  There were no drugs found, but Berg produced a semi-large glass pipe.  He asked if I used it for cocaine snorting.  I stated it was not my pipe, that I had never seen it before, and that he should check it for fingerprints.  Berg had again contaminated this evidence, because he was the only officer not wearing gloves.  This left Berg’s fingerprints as the only identifiably prints on the evidence. 

(9) Berg then spoke to his supervisor outside the apartment.  The glass tube disappeared from evidence, however, it was still mentioned in reports and in Court transcripts.  I then filed a complaint with the Redding Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division (“IAD”), alleging that Berg manufactured and planted evidence. 

(10) Even though an IAD complaint had been filed, the Redding Police Department inappropriately had Berg remain assigned to this case.  He took several unprofessional and retaliatory actions: 

(a)  Berg accused me of having child pornography on my computer, even though he was unable to locate any. 

(b) Bert harassed me about trying to set-up an adult web site. 

(c)  Berg went through my family photo album, and removed the pictures of all of my minor nieces and nephews, and then accused me of producing child pornography.  This accusation was made even though all of the teenaged minor relatives were fully clothed, and none of the pictures were in any way inappropriate. 

(d) Berg harassed me about my being an Afro-American who had numerous photographs of white people and children in my photo album.  He did not take the time to learn that my wife, and the mother of my child, is white.  Therefore, the nieces and nephews on my wife’s side of the family are as expected—white. 

(e) Berg orchestrated, coerced and led the perpetrators of my drugging and robbery into making statements that resulted in charges being made against myself such as: 

(A) Doesn't Peterson have alcohol in his apartment that you drank? 

(B) Didn’t you do drugs in Peterson’s apartment? 

(C) Didn’t you use Peterson’s computer to view pornography? 

(D) Didn’t you see child pornography on Peterson’s computer? 

(E) Didn’t Peterson have sexual contact with you? 

(11) Berg found no physical evidence to support the coerced and witness induced charges.  There were only “lead-in banners” and “cookies” on the computer.  They showed only that someone had visited the opening title pages of some adult web sites.  There were no records found that would show anyone had actually ever entered any of those web sites.  Records such as: “E-Mail” sales orders, credit card receipts, invoices, etc. 

(12) Berg failed and/or refused to investigate statements made by me that three particular tenants, who lived upstairs in the apartment building, were responsible for providing the drugs that were used to drug me. 

(13) Berg failed and/or refused to adequately and properly investigate the drugging and robbery of myself. 

(14) After I was incarcerated, my apartment was burglarized and vandalized.  I filed a complaint with the Redding Police Department that was never adequately and properly investigated. 

(15) Berg approached several local high school students, and attempted to coerce and lead them into stating I had sold them drugs, or had sex with them. 

(16) Berg “showcased” me by parading the Black Man around looking for anyone who would make allegations against this black man who was in their white conservative neighborhood. 


The Redding Police Department, and particularly Officer B. Berg, acting under color of law, with knowledge, deliberate indifference and reckless disregard, did deliberately, acting both individually and in a concert of action, orchestrate, encourage, direct, ratify, condone, or acquiesce to numerous violations of Peterson’s civil rights, including his right to be free from illegal, arbitrary and unfair treatment when the permitted, authorized and encouraged the white perpetrators of a crime against Mr. Peterson to make false allegations against Mr. Peterson for the express purpose of nullifying their own culpability, and shifting the blame to an Afro-American living in their predominately white conservative affluent neighborhood.  And, because of this blame-shifting deal made with the perpetrator’s of the drugging and robbery of Mr. Peterson, these perpetrators were threatened and coerced into maintaining their false allegations in exchange for not being prosecuted for their own conduct. 

Appeal Issues 

(1) Ineffective Assistance of Counsel (M. Sharpe). 

(a) Failed to challenge any prosecution evidence, including police report. 
(b) Failed to provide defendant with copy of police report. 
(c)  Failed to investigate and/or interview potential defense witnesses. 
(d) Failed and/or refused to meet privately with incarcerated defendant to discuss and explain case, and to adequately communicate with defendant in violation of the standards of Business and Professions Code §§6068(e), 6068(m). 
(e) Violated attorney-client privilege, within the meaning of Business and Professions Code §6068(e), by discussing the exposing sensitive confidential case information in the presence of other jail inmates in the Court Jail Holding Cell. 
(f) Failed to adequately explain the terms and consequences of the plea bargain agreement to defendant so that he could make a knowing and informed decision. 
(g) Failed to make a Motion for Change of Venue after informing and convincing defendant that a Black Man could not receive a fair trial in Shasta County. 
(h) Acted as a surrogate prosecutor when he coerced and threatened defendant into accepting a plea bargain, after convincing him he had no other choice because a Black Man could not receive a fair trial here. 

(2) Ineffective Assistance of Counsel (R. Hixon). 
(a) Failed and/or refused to bring forward ineffective Assistance of Counsel issues against M. Sharpe at the hearing for Withdrawal of Plea, because they were both members of the same law firm. 
(b) Failed to meet privately with incarcerated defendant to discuss and explain the case, and to adequately communicate with defendant in violation of the standards of Business and Professions Code §§6068(e), 6068(m). 
(c) Violated attorney-client privilege, within the meaning of Business and Professions Code §6068(e), by discussing and exposing sensitive and confidential case information in the presence of other jail inmates in the Court Jail Holding Cell. 
(d) Failed to make a Motion for Change of Venue, or other appropriate motion, after learning there was a problem with Afro-Americans receiving a fair trial in Shasta County, because of conservatively skewed jury selection pools. 
(e) Failed to investigate potential exculpatory evidence or interview witnesses. 

(3) Errors by Court at Withdrawal of Plea Hearing 
(a) The Court erred in not sue sponte stopping the Hearing, and appointing other counsel to represent defendant’s interests, when Mr. Sharps testimony indicated that because he is Mrs. Hixon’s employee, and that they were putting the interests of their office ahead of those of their client when he testified, “it puts our office in a very awkward position to have an attorney that I work with attacking my conduct on behalf of one of our clients.” 
(b) The Court erred when it allowed Mrs. Hixon to answer a question asked of Mr. Sharp.  “The Court: The question, though, is whether in your advice to Mr. Peterson you in substance and effect stated that because of his race he was going to lose.”  Whereas allowing Mrs. Hixon to respond for Mr. Sharp was a tacit acceptance that Mrs. Hixon was representing Mr. Sharp’s interests rather than Mr. Peterson’s interests. 
(c)  The Court erred in not either: appointing new counsel, and continuing the proceedings; or, allowing defendant to withdraw his plea when the Court because aware that the two attorneys were putting their own personal and professional interests before those of their client, and when it became obvious that the defendant had become confused and felt threatened by counsel’s implication that an Afro-American could not receive a fair trial in Shasta County.  Whereas, because of these threats and confusion, the defendant was not able to make an informed and rational knowing decision before accepting the plea bargain agreement. 

(4) Defendant was never able to have actual innocence issues brought before the Court.  Allegations which resulted in these charges, were made in direct retaliation by these alleged victims after defendant had filed robbery charges against these same alleged victims. 

(5) Police Misconduct 
(a) Police failed to read and/or inform defendant of his Miranda rights at any time. 
(b) Defendant was racially profiled and showcased by the Redding Police Department.  (Internal Affairs Report available.) 
(c) Police did not have probable cause to enter defendants apartment without a search warrant and therefrom detain him.  Making all evidence discovered by this search illegally obtained and inadmissible. 

(6) Sentencing and Probation conditions and requirements are designed for failure, and some are not reasonably related to the charges. 

Treatment Program Disclosures

A probation requirement that requires a defendant whose case is still under appeal to attend an offender treatment program, which requires he admit to the sex offenses underlying the conviction he is appealing is patently unconstitutional.  Additionally, such an offender treatment program which requires participants to disclose information about all past behavior is unconstitutional absent a granting of immunity by the Government. 

While there appears to be no California cases directly on point, the principle is grounded in Federal Constitutional Law.  In Newell v. Souser, (9th Cir. 1996) 79 F. 3d 115, 117, fn. 4, the federal appeals court for this area stated, “There is no Ninth Circuit authority precisely on point; however, ‘in the absence of binding precedent, a court should look to whatever decisional law is available to ascertain whether the law is clearly established..’ Capoeman v. Reed, 754 F.2d 1512, 1514 (9th Cir. 1985).”  See also Blueford v. Prunty, 108 F.3d 251, 255 (9th Cir. 1977), “. . .We note that precedent directly on point is not necessary to demonstrate a clearly established right.” 

Such decisional law ban be found in other jurisdictions: On September 5, 2000, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed a federal court decision, which held that a treatment program which required that treatment participants disclose information about past behavior violated the Fifth Amendment on the basis that information obtained during the course of treatment had limited confidentiality and could be used in criminal proceedings.  Lile vs. McKune, (D. Kan. 1998) 24 F.Supp. 2d 1152.  (Affirmed by 10th Cir. In unpublished decision.) 

Also basing its decision on the federal constitution, a Minnesota appeals court found that the trial court violated a sex offender’s 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when it revoked his probation after he refused to admit to the sex offenses underlying the conviction he is appealing.  Minnesota v. Kaquatosh, 600 N.W. 2d 153 (Minn. Ct. App. 1999). 

Kaquatosh’s attorney advised him to assert his 5th Amendment privilege at his intake appointment for sex offender treatment.  The privilege against self-incrimination applies until the time for appeal has expired, or until the conviction has been affirmed on appeal.  See U.S. v. Duchi, 944 F.2d 391 (8th Cir. 1991).  Revocation of probation is a substantial penalty “that cannot be imposed. . .because a witness elects to exercise his Fifth Amendment privilege not to give incriminating testimony against himself.”  See Minnesota ex rel Morrow v. Lafleur, 590 N.W. 2d 787 (Minn. Sup.Ct. 1990).  Here, by directing Kaquatosh to admit to the elements of his underlying offense while his appeal was pending, the trial court essentially nullified his right to appeal.  This is precisely the situation proscribed by the United States Supreme Court in Minnesota v. Murphy, 465 U.S. 420 (1984)(holding when an individual asserts the privilege, he may not be required to answer a question if there is some rational basis for believing that it will incriminate him).   Kaquatosh, 600 N.W. 2d 153. 

These principles come from a long line of United States Supreme Court precedent.  In Doe v. U.S., 487 U.S. 201, 213, 108 Ct. 2341, 101 L.Ed 2d 184 (1988), the Court held that information about a defendants’s thought process falls within the scope of this Fifth Amendment right to be “spare[d] from having to reveal, directly or indirectly, his knowledge of facts. . .or from having to share his thoughts and beliefs with the Government.”  Quoting Doe v. U.S., the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in U.S. v. Watt, 910 F.2d 587, 591, 593 (9th Cir. 1990), stated, “Penalizing a defendant for failing to provide evidence against himself or to make incriminating statements violates his constitutionally protected rights.” 

In Kastigar v. U.S., 406 U.S. 441, 92 S.Ct. 1653, 32 L.Ed 2d 212 (1972), the U.S. Supreme Court held, “[The privilege against compulsory self-incrimination] can be asserted in any proceeding, civil or criminal, administrative or judicial, investigatory or adjudicatory; and it protects against any disclosures which the witness reasonable believes could be used in a criminal prosecution or could lead to other evidence that might be so used.” [Citing: Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 443-444, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 1611-1612, 16 L.Ed 2d 694 (1966); Boyd v. U.S., 116 U.S. 616, 635, 6 S.Ct. 524, 534, 29 L.Ed 746 (1886); Huffman v. U.S., 341 U.S. 479, 486, 71 S.Ct. 814, 818, 95 L.Ed 1118 (1951); Blaw v. U.S., 340 U.S. 159, 71 S.Ct. 223, 95 L.Ed 170 (1950); Mason v. U.S., 224 U.S. 362, 365, 37 S.Ct. 621, 622, 61 L.Ed 1198 (1917; (other cases omitted).] Kastigar at 92 S.Ct. 1656.  The Ninth Circuit cites Kastigar in the same context in U.S. v. Mapelli, 971 F.2d 284 (95h Cir. 1992). 


This article which was written in 2001, has been partially outdated when the U.S. Supreme Court decided some of the issues discussed herein, when applied to incarcerated prisoners right's concerning treatment disclosures.  See Mc Kune v. Lile, No. 00-1187, Decided June 10, 2002, 536 U.S. ____ (2002).  It should be noted that this was a 5 to 4 decision to reverse the appellate court's decision.  However, it was a plurality decision as to the issues.  This is very much unsettled, with many issues unanswered.  Nonincarcerated persons should still be able to argue Fifth Amendment privilege or a grant of immunity.  Time will tell. 

Inmate Tom Watson

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