A judge in Canada has ruled to sustain a sexual assault charge against a man whose wife says she consented to being choked to unconsciousness before sex. Apparently rough play of this sort was a routine part of the couple’s sex life. There is some question as to whether she actually consented or is only saying so now, but according to the ruling, it doesn’t matter:
However, Crown counsel Mihael Cole successfully contended that an individual cannot consent to bodily harm, such as being choked to the point of unconsciousness. [….]
“Even if she had consented previously – or on that night – she cannot legally consent to sexual activity that takes place when she is unconscious,” the judge said.
Citing a line of case law involving voluntary whippings, brandings and canings – some from England – Judge Nicholas said the courts have generally ruled that individuals cannot voluntarily invite violent acts against themselves.
Really, now? Does this principle apply to boxers and rugby players? To patients under anaesthesia? Or only to couples whose sexual practices a judge finds unsavory?