It’s ruled sleep sex — (

SSRI Ed note: Man on Effexor drinks, has sex with woman with no consent, court recognizes actions due to parasomnia, acquits him. Connection to medication not identified.

Original article no longer available

November 30, 2005

Ann Tracy, Ph.D., Executive Director of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness, confirmed that this man was taking Effexor during the time of the attack.

She’ll fight it all the way

It wasn’t a sexual assault — it was sleep sex.

In an unusual case in a Scarborough, Ontario, courtroom, Jan Luedecke was acquitted of sexual assault after a judge ruled he was asleep during the attack — a disorder known as “sexsomnia.”

“This is indeed a rare case … His conduct was not voluntary,” said Justice Russell Otter, as Luedecke’s victim shook, sobbed and then left the courtroom.

The judgment has outraged women’s groups.

“This is infuriating. It’s another case of the courts not taking a woman seriously, adding yet another list to the list of excuses which men use for sexual assault,” said Suzanne Jay, of the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres.

Luedecke, a 33-year-old landscaper, met his victim at a party on July 6, 2003. Both had been drinking.


The woman, who can’t be named, had fallen asleep on a couch. She woke up to find him having sex with her. She pushed him off, then reported the rape to police.

She didn’t know Luedecke before that night.

Luedecke claimed he fell asleep on the same couch and woke up when he was thrown to the floor.

He only suspected he had had sex after using the bathroom and discovering he was still wearing a condom, court heard. He confessed to police.

During his trial, sleep expert Dr. Colin Shapiro testified Luedecke had parasomnia — a disorder with symptoms such as sleepwalking. Shapiro testified Luedecke suffered from sexsomnia, which is sexual behaviour during sleep.


It was brought on, he said, by alcohol, sleep deprivation and genetics.

Luedecke previously had sleep sex with four girlfriends, court heard.

Yesterday’s decision comes after a hearing on whether Luedecke had a mental disease. Had he been found not criminally responsible, he would have had his case reviewed by a mental health board. That could have meant restrictions on his freedom, said University of Toronto law professor Hamish Stewart.

But his disorder doesn’t mean he has a mental disease, Otter ruled. That means he faces no sentence.

News of the success of the sexsomnia defence may give rapists ideas, Stewart said.

“We may hear more forms of this defence from accused persons,” he said, adding he has never previously heard of such a case.

Luedecke has cut down on his drinking and is taking pills to stop a repeat of his crime, court heard.