Sleepwalking – The new rape defense

November 25, 2008


Pink is the new black and sleepwalking is the new “she asked for it.”

Jane McKenna, 33-year-old mother of two was raped while sleeping in her own home by a family friend, Jason Jeal, who claimed to be sleepwalking at the time of the incident.  37-year-old Jeal was tried and acquitted for the crime – although he had no medical history of sleepwalking.

Mr Jeal, a father of three who has since separated from his wife, yesterday maintained he did not know what he was doing at the time of the attack.

Speaking outside his home in Portsmouth, the former member of Portchester Cricket Club said: ‘I did not use sleepwalking in my defence as I did not have any doctor’s evidence or anything to back that up,’ he said. ‘With me, sleepwalking normally comes on through drink. People have told me I’ve done it before.’

So-called ‘sexsomnia’, in which sufferers carry out indecent acts in their sleep, is considered to be a form of automatism, a condition which has been used as a defence across criminal law.

From “How could the man who raped me be cleared because he was sleepwalking
By Olinka Koster
MailOnline, November 15, 2008


What in the bloody hell?  This happened in the UK and there is some tiny part of me happy for proof that things are as fucked up and crazy there – but just a very tiny part.  Sexsomnia, a form of automatism, is a valid legal defense in the UK and Mr. Jeal’s acquittal was not unique. There have been other, similar, cases:

Last year, RAF mechanic Kenneth Ecott, 26, was acquitted after he pleaded that he was sleepwalking when he had sex with a 15-year-old girl.  Bournemouth Crown Court heard he had sexsomnia.

James Bilton, 22, was also cleared by a jury of three counts of rape in 2005. The 22-year-old victim said she woke to find Mr Bilton assaulting her, but he said he could not remember the incident at his flat in York.


Seriously?  You can be cleared on a rape charge because you were asleep and didn’t know you were doing it?  How nice for rapists.  Very convenient.  If you can find any plausible way to “sleep” near a woman, you can go right ahead and rape her.  In fact, let’s save the courts and the cops some trouble.  Rapists, molesters and pedophiles should all be able to register as sexsomniacs!

Think of it… A woman gets raped.  She calls the police and they arrive at the scene of the “crime.”  The rapist presents his “Registered Sexsomniac ID Card” (RSIC), and it’s all over.  The police tell the woman “sorry, there’s nothing we can do.”  Of course he can’t do it to her again right at that moment (presumably he is now awake) so it’s not as convenient a system as he might prefer, but at least he is free to go.

Registering sexsomniacs would save us so much time and money.  The criminal “justice” system could avoid arrest, processing, and all the court costs – not to mention the cost of housing the man if he’s found guilty.  Pop out your RSIC card, and you’re good to go.

Mr Jeal’s case is particularly disturbing because:

  • He admitted the incident.
  • He has no known medical history of sleepwalking, and no studies were performed to prove his claim of sleepwalking (that I am aware of).
  • At his own admission he was experiencing an alcohol induced blackout (NOT the same thing as sleepwalking), something he had already been told he was capable of.  He was in a house, with a woman and at least one young girl and chose to drink so much he blacked out despite knowing he had a history of “sleepwalking while drunk.” 

If that isn’t rape because of his so-called “sexsomnia” (and I don’t buy that load of bullshit for one second), isn’t it at least “criminally negligent” rape?  If I thought I was capable of doing that kind of harm while drinking and “sleeping,” I would quit drinking.  I would ensure I slept in a safe space.  I would not go to a home, with a woman in it, drink enough to blackout, spend the night, rape her and then claim not to be responsible.  Knowing what he knew, isn’t he at least criminally negligent?  He was fully acquitted.  No jail time, no fine, no treatment.  I guess there already is a sexsomnia “get out of jail free” card.

Anyone think misogyny is not still thriving in the world?


Biased Coverage of Prop 8?

November 20, 2008


My previous post regarding the California Supreme Court’s decision to hear cases regarding the legality of Prop 8 contains the text of a Sacramento Bee article.  Something seemed a bit off balance about the article to me, so I did a little math and found:

Total words in article

Words that relay facts, without opinion or editorial (the “important” words)

Words that present the opinion or reaction of the anti-gay marriage community.

Words that present the opinion of reaction of the pro-gay marriage community.

Um, what the hell?  Gay marriage opponents got more press space than the facts, and roughly 5 times the space of Prop 8 opponents?  This is journalism?

Protect Marriage – Ban Divorce

November 13, 2008


Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Protect Marriage – Ban Divorce“, posted with vodpod

Barbara Boxer on Gay Marriage

November 3, 2008


Go Barbara!  If your marriage is threatened by mine, you’re at fault, not I.

Slimiest move yet by McCain campaign

October 29, 2008


In McCain’s latest campaign ad he employs a “throw the gun, we’re out of ammo” tactic.  The only thing they didn’t do in this ad is Photoshop a turban onto Obama’s head.  Please?!  That music?  Pathetic attempt.

Parents Demand Prop 8 ad Taken Down

October 27, 2008


Outraged Parents of Children Featured in Latest Prop 8 TV Ad Demand that Commercial be Taken off the Air Immediately
Latest Campaign Gimmick Termed Exploitative and Shameless by Parents

SACRAMENTO – The parents of the two children most prominently featured in the latest multi-million dollar Prop 8 political spot today termed those ads “distasteful and exploitative” and demanded that the ads be taken off the air immediately. Both sets of parents – Laura Hodder and Matt Alexander and Jen Press and James Moore, sent two hand-delivered letters this morning. The first letter is to the Prop 8 Campaign demanding the ad be removed from its television and its Web site where it is being used as a fund raising tool. The second letter to the San Francisco Chronicle asks them to intervene on their behalf. The Prop 8 campaign manipulated video that the Chronicle has posted on its Web site.

In their letter to the Prop 8 campaign, the parents wrote: “We are absolutely outraged that you have chosen, without permission, to shamelessly hijack the images of our innocent children to promote a cause that we in no way, shape or form support. It is even more maddening that you have willfully and calculatingly edited the images of our children, with menacing music in the background, in a way that is completely contrary to their nature and harmful to them.”

The footage manipulated by the Yes campaign, without authorization from either the parents or the Chronicle, was originally captured on Oct. 10 when the children took a field trip with their classmates and several parents to share the moment of their teacher’s wedding to her longtime partner. All parents were notified well in advance of the trip which was organized by some parents, and, in fact, two families chose to have their children not participate under California’s broad opt out law.

“I’m a school principal so I know something about education and parents’ rights,” said Matt Alexander whose son, Ben, is featured in the ad. “And the opt out law is something we readily apply all the time. So, let me join every other educator in the state and ask Prop 8 to also stop lying about the opt out law.”