Man claims “sexsomnia” as defense

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(CNN) – An Indiana man claims he doesn’t remember sexually assaulting a girl because of his so-called “sexsomnia.” Bloomington Police say 18 year old Andrew Passwaiter fondled a 15 year old girl earlier this month, during a sleep over at a home on Arbutus Drive.

Captain Steve Kellams of the Bloomington Police said, “She had woken up in the middle of the night, and Mr. Passwaiter, and he had his hands down her pants, she then left the room.”

However, when questioned by police, Passwaiter said he had no memory of the alleged incident, telling investigators he suffers from sexsomnia. Captain Kellams said, “That was a first for us.”

However a witness who was there told investigators Passwaiter was not asleep during the alleged incident.

Captain Kellams said, “We continued with our investigation, doing a complete interview with the victim of that case and he was subsequently arrested for sexual battery.”

Believe it or not, sexsomnia is a type of sleep disorder, also known as automatism, recognized by psychologists.

Capt. Kellams said, “We did quickly look it up, however he stated that he had been diagnosed but was unable to provide us with any information of a doctor we could follow up with. So based on all the totality of the circumstances we went ahead and made the arrest.”

Police say Passwaiter told them the doctor who made his diagnosis is dead now. The question going forward is whether Passwaiter’s sexsomnia defense would hold up in court.

Jack Crawford, a defense attorney said, “I think most people think this is a ridiculous defense.” “But if you think about it, we don’t hold people responsible for involuntary acts.”

Crawford isn’t connected to the case, but says if Passwaiter can prove he really does suffer from this condition. “If he can establish that, that’s a defense the jury will probably have to consider.”

Passwaiter’s sexual battery charge is a level six felony.

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