United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. Reeves, Chief Judge.
Scott Sulik pleaded guilty to one count of cyberstalking in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2261A(2) and was sentenced to
48 months39; imprisonment. The United States Court of
Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed Sulik39;s sentence
on appeal. United States v. Sulik, 929 F.3d 335 (6th
Cir. 2019). Sulik has now filed a motion to vacate, correct,
or set aside his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 based
on the argument that his attorney was constitutionally
ineffective. [Record No. 46] The motion will be denied
because Sulik has not established that counsel39;s
performance fell below an objective standard of
reasonableness or that he was prejudiced by his
February 22, 2018, a federal grand jury in Lexington,
Kentucky indicted Sulik on one count of cyberstalking in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2261A(2), and one count of
being a fugitive from justice in possession of a firearm in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(2). Regarding the
cyberstalking charge, the grand jury found that, from
September 2017 to December 2017, with the intent to injure,
harass, and intimidate the victim L.G., Sulik used electronic
mail to engage in a course of conduct that would reasonably
be expected to cause substantial emotional distress to L.G.
[Record No. 1] Attorney Rachel Yavelak was appointed to
represent Sulik under the Criminal Justice Act pursuant to 18
U.S.C. § 3006A. Sulik entered a plea of not guilty and
the matter was scheduled for a jury trial.
filed a motion for re-arraignment on May 30, 2018, and
appeared before the undersigned for a change-of-plea hearing
on June 8, 2018. Sulik pleaded guilty to the cyberstalking
charge with the understanding that the government would move
to dismiss the firearm charge at the time of the sentencing
hearing. The parties39; written plea agreement provided, in
a. Beginning on a date in September 2017 and continuing
through a date in December 2017, the Defendant sent a series
of threatening emails to an email account associated with
L.G., a member of the United States Congress. The Defendant
sent these emails from the address
email@example.com, through Gmail, an
electronic communication service and electronic communication
system of interstate commerce. The Defendant resided in Mesa,
Arizona when he began this course of contact and moved to
Versailles, Kentucky in November 2017. The Defendant
continued to send emails to L.G. from his Versailles
residence, which is in Woodford County, in the Eastern
District of Kentucky.
b. The Defendant intended to harass and intimidate L.G.
through the emails that he sent. Among numerous other emails,
the Defendant made the following statements to L.G.:
“You put your family at risk . . .”; “. . .
I39;m threating you.”; “What are you going to
do before I erase you?”; and “Show me anyone who
is going to protect you against me. . . .” The
Defendant understood that these and other emails that he sent
were of a nature that would reasonably be expected to cause
substantial emotional distress to the recipient.
waived the right to appeal his guilty plea and conviction. He
also waived the right to collaterally attack the guilty plea,
conviction, and sentence, with the exception of claims of
ineffective assistance of counsel. Sulik was sentenced to 48
months39; imprisonment, with credit for time spent in
federal custody. [Record No. 31] The Sixth Circuit affirmed
Sulik39;s sentence on appeal. Sulik, 929 F.3d 335.
Sulik now claims that Yavelak “repeatedly lied and
ineptly represented” him during the proceedings.
[Record No. 46, p. 4]
makes the following allegations in support of these claims:
1) Defendant was told repeatedly that the Sen. Rand Paul/Rene
Boucher case was State not Federal, therefore not applicable.
This was false.
2) Defendant was told for 11 months that all Unified Market
Theory information was not included in Discovery, subsequent
Counsel revealed that it was [included].
3) Ms. Yavelak disclosed privileged information to Judge
Bunning during a hearing in which Defendant was assigned new
4) Ms. Yavelak said Defendant had no right to face accuser in
a Trial and could not wear dress blues.
5) Ms. Yavelak said all jail time served by Defendant in
Woodford County Jail would count as Time Served toward
Federal sentence. Subsequent counsel said this was not true
and therefore over 20 months in jail did NOT count towards
serving of Federal sentence.
6) Ms. Yavelak appeared at a Hearing seemingly incapacitated,
with pupils dilated, and unable to follow proceedings nor
turn pages, relying on Defendant to do so.
United States has filed a response in opposition to
Sulik's motion, which includes an affidavit from Yavelak.
[Record No. 54] Sulik was permitted to tender a reply within
30 days of the United States' response. ...