BY Joel Landau, New York Daily News
He’s not a rapist, he was just sleeping.
That’s what a Swedish appeals court ruled earlier this month in overturning a rape conviction for 26-year-old Mikael Halvarsson, news agency Agence France-Presse reported.
The defendant was convicted of rape and sentenced to two years in prison earlier this year. He then successfully argued that he actually suffered from “sexsomnia” and did not intend to have sex with a woman with whom he was sharing a bed in April.
The victim reportedly woke up after he assaulted her and called the police, who arrived and found him still sleeping in the bed.
A doctor who specializes in sleep disorders testified on Halvarsson’s behalf about the controversial condition in which a person can have sex while asleep, the agency reported.
The Sundsvall appeals court ruled the defendant “was in a state of sleepiness, unconscious of what was happening.”
His mother and former girlfriend also confirmed unusual sleep behavior to the court, the agency reported.
Dr. Kingman Strohl, a professor of medicine and director of research at the Sleep Center at Case Medical Center in Cleveland, told ABC News that sexsomnia qs a confirmed medical diagnosis that includeS unintentional sexual behaviors during sleep.
“Usually people are very scared and also quite confused as to what’s going on,” he told the station regarding patients who suffer from the bizarre illness.
But the condition is not always successful in the legal system.
Last month Caleb Ruh, 29, was found guilty of molesting a 7-year-old girl in Florida in 2012.
Ruh fell asleep on the couch, called out for the girl, and then grabbed, touched and tried to kiss the victim. He claimed to authorities he took Xanax before falling asleep and denied touching her.
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