‘Sexsomnia’ rape accused had ‘full mental capacity’

A man who claims he was acting in his sleep when he allegedly raped his friend likely had full mental capacity at the time, an expert has said.

It is the defence case that, although the incident did occur, the man was suffering at the time from a condition known as ‘sexsomnia’ and this caused him to carry out sexual acts in his sleep.

The 29-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to one count of raping the woman at an apartment in Dublin in the early hours of September 28, 2008.

A sleep expert for the defence has already testified that the man was likely acting in his sleep when the woman was raped. The jury had also heard evidence of previous instances where he tried to carry out sexual acts on people in bed next to him.

Yesterday, the prosecution called Harry Kennedy, clinical director of the Central Mental Hospital, as a rebuttal expert witness.

Dr Kennedy recapped the events of the night as detailed in the book of evidence. The woman said she woke to the accused having sex with her. She had been wearing a pencil skirt which was pulled up and her underwear had been pulled aside.

The doctor said this did not appear to have been accidental and “demonstrates full intact mental capacity at material time” on the part of the accused.

The trial continues with Dr Kennedy’s evidence today before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of eight men and four women.

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