Vancouver Criminal Lawyer: Meghan Forhan

Facts: The client was accused of sexually assaulting a victim while he was asleep in bed next to her at a party. The client had no recollection of the acts he was alleged to have committed. The accused had been drinking heavily that evening, but he also suffered from a sleep disorder known as Sexsomnia. Sexsomnia is similar to sleep walking, but rather than walking, persons who suffer from this type of parasomnia engage in sexual acts while asleep, unbeknownst to them.

Meghan Forhan assisted the client with undergoing overnight sleep assessments and obtaining a Sexsomnia diagnosis. Other rehabilitative measures were also taken. The client addressed his sleep disorder and alcohol misuse. Meghan Forhan entered a plea of guilty on his behalf and successfully argued before a Provincial Court Judge for the imposition of a discharge. Crown Counsel opposed a discharge and argued for the accused to receive a criminal record and be put on the Sex Offender Registry.

Result: Conditional Discharge Imposed. No Sex Offender Registry order made. The Judge agreed that the client was now at a low risk to reoffend at the time of sentencing following his diagnosis and treatment plan as well as his abstinence from alcohol since the offence date. The accused also avoided deportation back to the U.K. and came out without any criminal record.