BLOOMINGTON, Indiana — An 18-year-old Indiana man claims he doesn’t remember sexually assaulting a girl due to his “sexsomnia.”
The Department of Child Services contacted police about the alleged assault on Friday, March 24th.
During an interview with Suzie’s Place, a child advocacy center, the 15-year-old victim said she woke up on a couch next to the suspect, Andrew Passwaiter, as he had his hands down her pants, applying pressure to her genitals.
Police say Passwaiter stopped by the department and spoke with an officer. During an interview, he reportedly admitted to sleeping next to the victim during their spring break, but he denied touching her in a sexual manner.
“We continued with our investigation, doing a complete interview with the victim of that case and he [Passwaiter] was subsequently arrested for sexual battery,” said Captain Steve Kellams with the Bloomington Police Department.
However, Passwaiter did tell police that a psychologist diagnosed him with “sexsomnia,” a condition he says makes him do sexual things to the person he’s sleeping next to.
“Sexsomnia,” also known as an automatism, is a recognized sleep disorder. However, a local attorney says in order for that defense to hold up in court, the suspect would have to prove he has a history dealing with the condition.
“It’s going to be very important in the defense of this case, that the person be able to show he has a pattern or history or background of similar behavior,” said defense attorney Jack Crawford, who is not connected to the case.
Police also spoke to a witness who reportedly saw Passwaiter consciously touch the victim’s leg at some point during the night.
As a result of their investigation, officers took Passwaiter into custody and charged him with sexual battery.