A Man's Rape Conviction Was Overturned Due to His 'Sexsomnia'

Swedish Man Sexsomnia - Sexsomnia Rape Charges

Cheek, Forehead, Comfort, Eyebrow, Jaw, Eyelash, Neck, Black hair, Nap, Sleep,
(Image credit: Archives)

Mikael Halvarsson, a 26-year-old Swedish man sentenced to two years in prison for raping a woman has had his conviction overturned. Why? He was asleep when it happened.

According to experts, Halvarsson suffers from "sexsomnia," a state in which a person can have sex while sleeping. A northern Sweden appeals court overruled the previous sentence because they believe it wasn't his intention to have sex and "was in a state of sleepiness, unconscious of what was happening, [and that] does not seem absurd."

The decision was made after doctors who specialize in sleeping disorders intervened and an ex-girlfriend came forward saying that he had previously attempted to have sex with her while she was sleeping. When she stopped him, he acted confused and asked what had happened. His mother also confirmed he had dysfunctional sleeping patterns before.

This isn't the first time a person has been acquitted for "sexsomnia," which is why we're puzzled that the medical condition has not been widely studied or even recognized. No disrespect to those who suffer from the disorder, but we'd love to know what protection is in place for their victims.

[ABC News]

Related Links:

Sexual Assault Victims Speak Out Against Campus Rape

I Lost My Virginity to Rape and Didn't Even Know It

Beauty Editor

Lauren Valenti is Vogue’s former senior beauty editor. Her work has also appeared on ELLE.com, MarieClaire.com, and in In Style. She graduated with a liberal arts degree from Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts, with a concentration on Culture and Media Studies and a minor in Journalism.