A HORSHAM judge intends to jail a man after he raped a Wimmera woman while she was unconscious.
Paul Hopes, 30, appeared in Horsham County Court on Wednesday, where he pleaded guilty to rape.
The court heard the incident happened in November 2017, while Hopes was in a relationship with the woman.
The victim would often have blackouts and dizzy spells, where she would become unconscious for about half an hour.
On November 19, 2017, Hopes and the woman were at her Wimmera home, when she started to feel unwell and went to bed to sleep.
While she was unconscious, Hopes raped her.
After a few hours, the victim woke up and started cooking dinner with Hopes.
Later that evening Hopes told her that while she was sleeping he had had sex with her.
When the victim asked Hopes why he did it, the court heard that he responded: "To see what you would do. You always said I could f**k you in your sleep."
Hopes said the victim wanted him to "stretch her out a bit" while she was asleep.
The woman denied saying that.
The court heard that following the incident, the woman became pregnant, although it was not known if the pregnancy was a direct result of the rape.
In January 2018, the relationship ceased and Hopes was charged in November 2018.
In a police interview, Hopes said he first moved the woman's arm while she was asleep and she didn't wake up.
He then raped her.
He said that she always told him to have sex with her when she was "in a blackout", and when he had tried in the past, she had always woken up.
Ararat police Sexual Offences Unit's Debbie McGuire read a victim impact statement to the court on behalf of the woman.
In the statement, the woman said she suffered from nightmares, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
She said she tried to take her own life when her baby was six weeks old.
"I was angry at the world," she said.
"I'm scared to be alone and for a while I was scared to walk down the street."
Prosecutor Joanne Piggott argued that it was a sinister case of rape because Hopes knew the victim had blackouts.
"It is a significant breach of trust for a woman who was asleep and totally out to it," she said.
Defence solicitor Wendy Duncan said while the incident was a breach of trust when the victim was vulnerable, it wasn't malicious.
She said the crime was opportunistic.
Judge Michael Cahill said there was strong evidence of Hopes' remorse.
"He disclosed the incident to his partner because he felt bad - she had no idea it had happened until he told her," he said.
"He also pleaded guilty at the earliest possible time and surrendered himself into custody."
Mr Cahill said he was concerned however that Hopes had limited insight into his offending and the severe harm he had caused the victim.
"It is very serious offending to have sex with a woman while she is unconscious - I find his explanation for it unlikely," he said.
The defence submitted a psychologist's report to the court, but Mr Cahill said that it was limited and raised further questions about Hopes' level of understanding and maturity.
Mr Cahill said he needed more information about Hopes before sentencing him.
Hopes will re-appear in court on September 12.
Mr Cahill said Hopes would be sentenced to a term of imprisonment.
- If you or someone who know has experienced sexual, domestic or family violence, contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
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