ABC News is reporting that a Swedish man who was convicted of rape had his charges overturned after an appeals court found the man could have been asleep during the attack. The court cited “sexomnia” as a reason he should be released.
“Mikael Halvarsson was acquitted of rape this month after experts said he was asleep during the attack and had no memory of the incident, according to a translated court ruling from the Sundsvall appeals court in Sweden,” writes Gillian Mohney of ABC News. “Halvarsson was accused after the victim woke up as Halvarsson allegedly assaulted her on April 2, 2014. They had been sleeping in the same bed, but they each had their own blanket, according to the translated court documents, which also noted that she called the police the next morning, and they found Halvarsson still asleep in her bed when they arrived.”
Halvarsson’s previous girlfriend reportedly testified that he had previously tried once to have sex with her when she was sleeping. His mother also confirmed that he had disturbed sleeping patterns before.
Dr. Kingman Strohl, a professor of medicine and director of research at the Sleep Center at Case Medical Center in Cleveland, told ABC that “sexomnia” was an actual medical diagnosis that includes unintentional sexual behaviors during sleep. “Usually people are very scared and also quite confused as to what’s going on,” Strohl said of patients who report sexomnia. “We look for signs” of the behavior in the patient’s past, he said. That it has “gone on before and occurs in context of sleep walking and sleep talking.”
Source: ABC news