Minnesota appeals court affirms criminal sexual conduct convictions in Chippewa County
A man convicted of criminal sexual conduct in Chippewa County lost an appeal on a claim of ineffective legal counsel
ST. PAUL — The Court of Appeals has affirmed the convictions in Chippewa County of a defendant serving a 306-month prison sentence for first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct. The court issued its decision May 18.
Tyrese Thomas, 41, appealed his convictions on a number of claims, including that he had ineffective counsel in prior court proceedings.
A Chippewa County jury found him guilty of the two felony charges in October 2014. He allegedly had sexual contact with a 12-year-old in 2012 when he was 34 years old, according to the court record.
Prior to taking the case to trial, he had rejected a plea agreement under which he would have received a 119-month prison sentence.
Thomas argued that his attorneys should have raised a number of claims he made in a direct appeal following his conviction. The Court of Appeals stated in its decision that legal counsel need not raise claims that they could legitimately conclude would not prevail.
In respect to his claim of ineffective counsel, the court stated: “Here, it is clear that an appellate attorney could have legitimately concluded that an ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim would not succeed.”