A 37-year-old Gatineau man accused of sexually assaulting his sister while she slept on a trip to Quebec City together escaped jail after the court found a sleep expert’s defense of sexsomnia “strong”. would have.
• Also read: Sexsomnia: Defendant’s spouse and ex-spouse testify
“My brother, my hero, raped me […] How to live when you see my attacker’s face in mine? said the defendant’s sister. If the 35-year-old complainant was actually the victim of her brother’s sexual assault, she will never be able to identify him as the perpetrator.
The man, who cannot be identified for the applicant’s protection, nevertheless admitted to inserting his fingers into his sister’s privates in January 2019 while the two were sleeping in the same bed at a friend’s house in Quebec.
However, he presented expert evidence and pleaded sexsomnia to explain involuntary acts.
Similar gestures by others
In addition to a sleep neurologist who stated that the defendant “very certainly suffers from somnambulism” which causes him to engage in involuntary sexual acts while asleep, the defendant’s spouse and ex-spouse have testified to acts similar to those described by the applicant.
“The accounts of the two witnesses bear significant similarities to each other and to that of the applicant,” Judge Rachel Gagnon said.
The spouses testified they had been aroused numerous times over the years by digital stimulation of the defendant while lying on their backs.
The latter had a blank stare and the awkward gesture at the time, but stopped when pushed back, with no memory of the episode when he woke up.
“Had it not been for their involuntary nature, the defendant’s actions would have constituted sexual assault,” the judge concluded.
In January 2019, the defendant was aware of his sleep parasomnia but had slept with his sister because he believed he only engaged in this type of behavior with people to whom he was sexually attracted.
Although he now avoids sleeping with anyone other than his spouse, “it is very likely that in the future the defendant will find himself in a condition similar to that at the time of the alleged events,” the judge said.
Using a number of criteria, Judge Gagnon found that the accused still posed a threat to others.
She considers that the state of automatism in which he was at the time of the facts is due to a mental disorder.
So it was a mental disorder verdict rather than a no-criminal conviction, not an acquittal.
However, if the Gatineau resident does not go to jail, his file has been turned over to the Mental Disorders Review Commission, which will follow up on the defendant. He is therefore still subject to the conditions of detention in force since his arrest, although he is not facing imprisonment.