A man convicted of criminal sexual assault, second degree, has won a new trial due to ineffective assistance of counsel.
The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that Jeffrey Gioglio’s conviction for allegedly sexually assaulting a young girl should be overturned, saying that his constitutional rights were violated because his attorney was so bad.
The defense attorney in this case was so poor that it was the winning prosecutor who raised questions about the lawyer’s performance. Problems included the failure by the defense to give an opening statement and to cross-examine the accuser. According to the assistant prosecutor, after sentencing defense counsel turned to her, smiled and said, “He’s toast!”
The Michigan Court of Appeals found that defense counsel had “failed to meaningfully test the prosecutor’s case.”
The Court also noted “Our constitutions do not reserve the right to the effective assistance of counsel to only those defendants who are actually innocent…In this case, it is clear that [defense counsel’s] performance was so inadequate that, in effect, defendant had no assistance of counsel at all.”