ATLANTA – A Georgia man has been found guilty of sexual battery even though he claims he has no recollection of assaulting the family babysitter because he was sleepwalking.
The babysitter said she caught Scott Axelburg with his hand in her underwear in the middle of the night in 2004.
Axelburg's lawyer argued that a person cannot intent to commit a crime if he or she isn't aware of what they are doing.
“I don’t remember anything, and when I do have something to remember, it was a dream-like situation,” Axelburg testified in court Wednesday, reported FOX affiliate WAGA.
Axelburg also said he has sleepwalked from time to time. His attorney referred to a time at a motel.
"Next thing you know, he's out in the parking lot in his underwear," said Axelburg's attorney, Guy Davis.
A doctor for the defense testified yesterday that sleepwalkers can cook, drive and even have sex without waking up, WAGA reported. But on cross-examination, the prosecutor accused Axelburg of using sleepwalking as an excuse.
Axelburg had admitted to an investigator that he in fact did touch the babysitter. But he told jurors Wednesday that he just said that to end the interview.
“It didn’t matter what I said at that time,” Axelburg said. “[The police office] had already read my rights. No matter what I did, that man was going to arrest me.”
Axelburg appears to have some recollection of what took place. A doctor testified for the prosecution that when people suffer from what is called “sex-phobia” or “sex-somnia,” they never have any recollection of what they did in their sleep. So the fact that Axelburg has some recollection is startling, they said.
The babysitter, who was 16 on the night in question, said she was watching the defendant’s toddlers overnight so that Axelburg and his family could get an early start to his son’s baseball tournament, reported WSBTV.com.
She said she woke with a start from her slumber on the couch when Axelburg put his hand in her pants.
"He got up off his knees and he buttoned both buttons on his shorts and zipped up his pants and walked into his bedroom," the girl said, reported WSBTV.com.