Gaining Perspective from Tragedy

Lock your door at night:

Dorm incident may lead to changes in sex assault law

February 3, 2006

STORRS, Conn. — An incident involving three men accused of masturbating over a sleeping University of Connecticut student is sparking calls to change the state’s sexual assault laws.

The men, who are also students at the school, face disorderly conduct and public indecency charges. But they will not be charged with sexual assault because there was no physical contact with the female victim during the September incident, said Elizabeth Leaming, the assistant state’s attorney prosecuting the case.

“It’s a frustration that there is no ability to charge a sex offense for the kind of conduct alleged,” Leaming said Thursday.

The incident occurred after the woman fell asleep in Skvirsky’s dorm room on Sept. 24.

The young woman discovered what happened after she woke up. She filed charges three days later.

I’ve been accused of being both a Japan apologist and a Japan basher. I admit to both readily. I love Japan, but it is screwed up. I have been somewhat hard on Japan, you might say, by translating reports of some fairly depraved activities.

But at times we all need a bit of perspective. That is why am grateful, in a way, that someone from my hometown (Somers, Connecticut) has helped remind me that Americans can be just as perverted as Japanese people, and sometimes the law is caught with its pants down, so to speak, when it comes to dealing with the devious bag of tricks that is the human imagination.

One thought on “Gaining Perspective from Tragedy”

  1. Those men are probably suffering from sexsomnia. See the below article from the BBC. (My favorite part is the guy waking up “sticking to the leather sofa.”)

    Sleepwalking man cleared of rape
    A man accused of three counts of rape has been cleared by a jury because he was sleepwalking.
    James Bilton, 22, told York Crown Court that he could not remember the alleged attack at his flat on Hope Street, York, and must have been sleepwalking.

    Mr Bilton told police he had walked in his sleep since the age of 13.

    A sleep expert said Mr Bilton was one of only 1-2.5% of the adult population who suffered from the condition. Mr Bilton had denied all three charges.

    During the trial, the court heard the victim knew Mr Bilton and had slept in his bed after a night out, while Mr Bilton slept on the sofa.

    ‘Completely oblivious’

    Later, the 22-year-old, who can not be named, claimed she woke to find her trousers had been taken off and Mr Bilton was assaulting her.

    She denied consenting to sex.

    Mr Bilton said he could only remember waking up after sticking to the leather sofa and was “completely oblivious” to what had allegedly happened, the court heard.

    But he said he had a history of sleepwalking which ran in the family.

    Sleep expert Dr Ishaad Ebrahim said people who are sleepwalking can carry out actions that they do when awake.

    Sexsomnia diagnosis

    And of the 1-2.5% of the adult population who suffer from the condition, 4% carry out sexual behaviour.

    Mr Bilton’s acquittal follows a similar case in Canada last month when Jan Luedecke, 33, was cleared of raping a woman after a judge ruled he was asleep at the time of the attack.

    Mr Luedecke and the woman had gone to a party in 2003 where the woman fell asleep on the couch.

    When she woke, she said she found him having sex with her.

    He was charged with sexual assault but during his trial sleep experts testified that he suffered from sexsomnia – when a person has sex while they are still asleep.

    Story from BBC NEWS:

    Published: 2005/12/19 17:11:45 GMT

    © BBC MMVI

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