Man found not guilty after blaming sleepwalking for sex attack
Sleepwalking might just get you off.
A Manhattan jury Friday found Nick Liu, 27, not guilty of molesting his roommate’s bikini-model girlfriend after his lawyer Dan Ollen argued that he was sleepwalking at the time.
“Not guilty,” read the forewoman in Manhattan Criminal Court on one count each of misdemeanor forcible touching and third-degree sex abuse.
Liu’s mother, Lisa Philips, burst into sobs of relief. As Liu left the courtroom, accompanied by his girlfriend, his parents and sister, he said, “I’m very happy to have my life back.”
The Georgetown graduate got into hot water after a night of heavy drinking Sept. 11, 2015. Early the next morning, he sleepwalked into his roommate Shane Payne’s bedroom in the StuyTown pad they once shared.
Payne’s horrified girlfriend awoke to find Liu kissing her neck and putting his fingers inside her, she told jurors. The brunette bodybuilder, who has posed for Hooter’s bikini calendar, yelled “Stop! Stop!” as she shoved the 155-pound intruder off of her.
During her weepy testimony, she insisted that Liu was fully conscious when he attacked her.
But the mild-mannered defendant told jurors he has suffered from sleepwalking since he was a young child. He said he fell asleep that morning and his next memory was of “someone jostling me quite aggressively.” He was distraught when he realized it was his pal’s girlfriend.
The out-of-work investment analyst ran back into his bedroom and started hyperventilating. “I was breathing quite fast, I just felt horrible,” he said.
His girlfriend of 5 years, Alexandra Berg, testified about his sleep disturbances. She said that he grabs her breasts and vagina about twice a month in his sleep.
“The first few times it happened, I didn’t know he was asleep,” she said. “He woke up during it, and you could see his eyes going from unconscious to confused.”