Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit.
No. 2:12-cv-10781—David M. Lawson, District Judge.
Argued: September 27, 2016
Decided and Filed: October 11, 2016
Before: ROGERS, SUTTON, and COOK, Circuit Judges.
ROGERS, Circuit Judge. Michael Thompson was convicted on various counts of child
abuse, including first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which carries a twenty-five year
mandatory minimum sentence. At trial, the disputed question was whether Thompson digitally
penetrated the child. In his opening statement, defense counsel promised that Thompson would
testify and deny penetration, but counsel never called Thompson to testify. Instead, counsel
relied on Thompson’s statements in a taped police interview to tell his side of the story. After
trial, Thompson asserted an ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim based on defense counsel’s
broken promise, which the Michigan courts rejected. The district court then denied Thompson’s
habeas petition based on the same claim, which Thompson now appeals. The district court
properly denied Thompson’s habeas petition, because the state court reasonably concluded that
defense counsel’s error did not prejudice Thompson’s defense.