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Op-Ed: Man cleared of raping woman in his sleep

By Alexander Baron     May 8, 2013 in Crime
Lincoln - How many defences are there to rape? She's lying - it never happened. It wasn't me; this is mistaken identity. She consented. How about, yes, we did have sex, but I was asleep at the time?
The loony feminists will love this. Not. It seems though this is a valid defence, because a man has been cleared of raping a woman on the grounds of sexsomnia. You heard right, this is a condition similar to sleep walking, except it might be described as...best not, this is a serious subject. So what happened?
According to the Daily Mail, Andrew Machin was on holiday at Butlins, Skegness in February 2010 when he met a woman who was on a weekend away as part of a group of ten. The victim - we can call her that in spite of his acquittal - is said to have drunk more than 20 alcopops and shots at which point she collapsed and was so drunk she could barely speak and could not stand up at all.
She was helped back to her chalet, undressed and left her with Machin, who agreed to stay the night in case she became ill. She fell asleep, and woke up to find him naked in her bed having sex with her.
Cases of this nature don't usually take three years and more to come to court, so it appears that the defence spent some considerable time looking around for an expert witness. His partner testified on his behalf, as did his sister, who also suffers from the condition. This resulted in his acquittal, at which point he broke down in tears, as well he might.
Sexomnia was discussed on BBC Radio 4 this morning; neurologist Professor Matthew Walker confirmed this is a bona fide medical condition.
It seems to have either appeared or more likely to have have been recognised only fairly recently. The first mention of sexomnia in the London Times dates only from January 2006, when a Canadian court acquitted a man of sexual assault on these grounds.
Having said that, let's look at what happened here, and what shouldn't have. We'll ignore the bizarre practice of holidaying at Skegness in February, but first:
The victim consumed more than 20 alcoholic drinks - no man should do this, much less a woman.
She collapsed, could barely speak, and couldn't stand up. Shouldn't one of her friends have called a doctor at this point, or were they too busy getting plastered likewise? Didn't anyone think to call a doctor? Haven't they heard of alcohol poisoning and other fatal conditions that can be brought on by excessive consumption of the demon drink? Thirty years and eight days before this woman was not raped by Andrew Machin, AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott drank himself to death. More recently, guitarist Gary Moore suffered the same fate. Countless people, famous and not so, have done the same thing, but nobody thought to call a doctor?
Then her friend leaves her with a strange man, who could have been the second coming of Ted Bundy for all she knew. Perhaps she was in a hurry to get back to her partying in order to get similarly plastered herself.
Finally, this guy who knows he suffers from this condition sits and watches over her. And then some. How thoughtless and stupid is all that? This may not have been a crime, but it had two victims and at least three perpetrators.
Alas...last month it was reported that a man was acquitted at Glostrup, Denmark of sexual assault, on the same grounds. Fortunately, rape was not involved. He was said to have groped two young women after a party two years ago. Some parties expressed skepticism over this case. While this may be unwarranted, it seems only common sense that just as women should not put themselves in positions where they can be raped, men who suffer from this condition should not put themselves in positions where it is possible or indeed likely they will do something they and others will regret.
Women suffer from sexomnia too, but for obvious reasons, complaints by men of sexual assault by women are few and far between.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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