A Scottish man has escaped prison after he was found not guilty of rape following his claim that he suffers from “sexsomnia.” Darrell Swanson, 39 and from Dunfermline, Fife, said that his rare psychological condition meant that he had no idea he was having sex in the night and that because of this, he couldn’t be found guilty. It seems a judge agreed.
1. SWANSON WAS CHARGED WITH THREE HISTORIC COUNTS OF RAPE.Two of the counts involved a 36-year-old woman while the third involved a 30-year-old woman who was 15 years old at the time of the alleged assault, the Central Fife Times reports. It was claimed that he further sent the latter victim explicit photos and messages when she was 24.
2. THE ALLEGED VICTIM CLAIMED HE HAD NO MEMORY OF HAVING SEX WITH THE 36-YEAR-OLD WOMAN.She claimed that he had gone to therapy twice for the condition, but he denied it altogether. “The reason I went to the doctor was because of masturbating and porn because she said it was a problem. I thought she was just overreacting to it,” he told the court. “I’ve never had sex with her while she was sleeping. It didn’t happen. The furthest it went was groping her or moving her clothing.”
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4. HE ALSO INSISTED HE NEVER HAD SEX WITH THE YOUNGER WOMAN.Swanson told the court that he definitely didn’t ply the younger woman with alcohol before raping her and that if he’d wanted to have sex, he would have woke her up to do so. “Why would you have sex with someone while they’re sleeping? I can’t explain something that didn’t happen. I dinnae get it. I dinnae get any of this,” he insisted. “If she was sleeping I would have had to have woken her up to have sex with her. If I’d woken her up she wouldn’t want sex anyway.”
5. A SLEEP SPECIALIST TESTIFIED ON SWANSON’S BEHALF.According to Dr. Ian Morrison, a consultant neurologist with NHS Tayside and a specialist in sleep medicine, Swanson’s claim that he had no memory of having sex with the women in question is plausible because it’s the very definition of “sexsomnia.” He told the court: “It’s almost exclusively the case that there’s a lack of recall. Generally speaking, patients do not recall. Some see it as a bit of a joke and laugh it off. Some find it very embarrassing and some are sympathetic to the position.”
6. HE WAS CLEARED OF ALL COUNTS AGAINST HIM.It took the jury less than 90 minutes to come back with a not guilty verdict on all three counts against him, meaning he was free to leave with no further consequences.