An Australian man accused of indecently assaulting his daughter has been acquitted because he has “sexsomnia” and was asleep and oblivious when the acts occurred.

By Hannah Ryan

The man told the Australian NSW District Court that he was stunned when police arrested him in November 2019 and he learned what his nine-year-old daughter had accused him of doing.

He didn’t doubt she was telling the court the truth but he had no memory of touching her vagina and breasts while sleeping next to her on two occasions in 2019, he said at his April trial.

A man accused of indecently assaulting his daughter has been acquitted because he has “sexsomnia”. File image. Credit: Getty Images

He was found not guilty after experts gave evidence to say he had a condition called “sexsomnia”.

It’s a disorder which leads a person to engage in sexual acts while they’re sleeping. The term was coined by a Canadian professor in 2003.

The prosecution conceded that the condition meant he did not touch his daughter voluntarily and he had no control over his behavior.

Dealing With Sexsomnia

The girl told her mother, who had recently split from the accused, that something “horrible” had happened to her the day after the second incident.

She wrote her a letter saying that her father had touched her “on the girls part on perpos (sic)“.

The daughter said in evidence that she had climbed into her father’s bed in November 2019 after being scared by loud voices on the street.

RELATED VIDEO: What is Sexsomnia (Sleep Sex Disease)?

After he touched her vagina, she said she told him “no” in a strong voice. He moved his hand towards her breast and mumbled, including the word “pussy”. He was soon still and silent, then began snoring.

It was a repeat of an earlier incident in July, when the girl had shared a bed with her father as they were sleeping over at the house of a family friend.

A man accused of assaulting his own daughter has been acquitted because he has “sexsomnia”. Credit: AAP

On that occasion he touched her on the vagina for about an hour, forcing her to grab a pillow to cover her private parts when he got up to go to the bathroom.

Her father had been drinking before going to bed on both nights.

The man’s former wife had told him that he had occasionally sexually touched her during his sleep but in the morning he would have no recollection of it.

Subsequent partners made similar observations.

The man, who was a 42-year-old school principal at the time of the incidents, was seen by mental health and sleep experts who told the court he had the sleep disorder.

The man, who was a 42-year-old school principal at the time of the incidents, was seen by mental health and sleep experts who told the court he had the sleep disorder.

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