A female sailor in the British Royal Navy has accused another naval servicemember of rape — because he allegedly crawled into bed and had sex with her, all while she believed he was someone else.
According to the Telegraph, the victim went back to a cabin on her base with two men — Leading Marine Engineering Artificer Greg Robertson and Engineering Technician Kenni Dinnell — after a night of drinking. She had consensual sex with Robertson, and then he fell asleep on the floor. At that point Dinnell allegedly got in bed with the victim. She says,
I was drifting in and out of sleep, I was very drunk. I woke up to someone kissing my neck, I thought it was Greg.
My eyes were closed, he carried on kissing me and one thing led to another and basically we had sex and at this time I still believed it was Greg.
I began to enjoy it, I was swaying. I looked up thinking it was Greg then realised it wasn't Greg, I had a second glance and that is when I said 'No'. I said 'No, get off'. I pushed that lad off.
She filed a complaint against Dinnell, and a court martial is now being held. In order to convict him, the prosecution will have to prove that he "intentionally had sex with the victim, that she had not consented and that he did not reasonably believe she had consented" — that is, presumably, that he crawled into bed with her intending to pretend he was Robertson, or at least to take advantage of her drunk and confused state. UK law doesn't specifically designate intoxicated people as unable to consent, so simply having sex with someone who may have been too drunk to recognize him won't be enough for a conviction.
Other media outlets are (at least implicitly) blaming the woman in this case — the Daily Mail's headline is "Drunken wren who 'woke up find she was having sex with wrong man' accuses sailor of rape." But whether or not Dinnell really intended to deceive her, the case is a pretty great argument for having an actual conversation about consent before starting to have sex with someone — and for refraining from sex if one or both parties is too drunk to have that conversation. After all, it really shouldn't be so hard to make sure your desired partner knows who you are.
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