If you were a judge, would buy an accused rapist’s excuse that he was sleepwalking, and therefore had no idea what he was doing?
That’s the defence Ryan Hartman is running with when his new trial kicks off.
In May 2012 he was originally found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman at a party in Brockville, and was sentenced to 14 months in prison. His conviction was upheld by Superior Court in December 2012.
But when he took the issue to the Court of Appeal, he ran with the argument that he was sleepwalking, and had an expert back up his claim. Dr. Julian Gojer said Hartman was likely asleep when the victim woke up as he was trying to penetrate her. “There is really no doubt in my mind that this individual had parasomnia,” Gojer testified. Word is that Hartman was prone to sleepwalk as a child.
She was sleeping next to her boyfriend on an air mattress at the time. Hartman reportedly said “I’m sorry man, I just woke up making out with your girlfriend.”
The Crown’s doctor argued in rebuttal that Hartman was awake at the time, but drunk.
Have you ever sleepwalked? Do you think it’s a valid defence? Would you buy Hartman’s excuse, especially if backed up by an expert’s diagnosis?