‘Sexsomnia’ defence anticipated in Ontario sexual assault trial


An Ottawa-area lady will but once more face the person convicted of raping her seven years in the past after a choose ordered a brand new trial primarily based on the person’s new defence: sexsomnia.

The 30-year-old lady, whose identify is protected by a publication ban, advised CTV Ottawa that she fell asleep on an air mattress after a celebration at a good friend’s home in Brockville, Ont., one night time and awakened with ache in her buttocks.

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“I fell asleep with my arms wrapped round my boyfriend and I awakened in ache and realized I used to be being assaulted,” she mentioned.

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Ryan Hartman, a stranger to the lady, was charged with sexual assault. He was convicted in Might 2012 and sentenced to 14 months imprisonment. Hartman shortly appealed the conviction, which was upheld.

Hartman appealed once more, this time to the Ontario Courtroom of Enchantment. In that enchantment, the defence argued that Hartman had a historical past of sleepwalking and that his girlfriend had witnessed different incidents of sexsomnia.

Sexsomnia is a sleep problem the place individuals have interaction in sexual behaviours whereas sleeping. It’s formally acknowledged by the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Guide of Psychological Problems, extensively utilized by psychologists.

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The lady concerned says the brand new trial has re-traumatized her however that she’s a “survivor.”

“I’ll by no means imagine that he was sleeping when it occurred,” she mentioned.

College of Ottawa regulation professor Blair Crew advised CTV Ottawa that “individuals unfamiliar with sleepwalking can’t imagine that this protection is definitely viable,” however that it has been used efficiently prior to now.

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In 2005, an Ontario man was discovered not criminally accountable for sexual assault on the idea of sexsomnia. 4 earlier girlfriends testified that he had engaged in “sleep intercourse” prior to now.

In 2016, an appeals court docket choose in Newfoundland ordered a brand new trial within the case of a person convicted of sexually touching his sister, after a forensic psychiatrist concluded he seemingly suffered from sexsomnia.

With information from CTV Ottawa and The Canadian Press


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