A Massachusetts man accused of raping and impregnating an 11-year-old girl maintains his innocence on the grounds that she possibly had sex with him while he slept.
This is not a sick joke, but an actual defense used in a court of law.
Justin J. Armstrong, 38, pleaded not guilty to one count of rape of a child by force in Springfield District Court. According to Mass Live, he was arrested Friday following tests indicating that the young girl was four months pregnant.
The girl reportedly told investigators that she had been molested by Armstrong over a course of 18 months.
Armstrong allegedly coerced the victim into keeping quiet by telling her that he would be arrested if she told anyone, but she eventually opened up to one of her mother’s friends earlier this month, Mass Live reports.
According to New York Daily News, Armstrong initially tried to deny ever having sex with the victim, telling authorities that a younger relative had been sexually abusing her over the span of years. However, upon finding out she was pregnant, he switched up his story and suggested that the child took advantage of him while he was sleeping.
The girl has since had an abortion, but DNA testing is being performed on the fetal tissue to determine the paternity. Meanwhile, Armstrong is being held on $50,000 bail.
The fact that Armstrong's defense lawyer allowed him to make such a preposterous claim takes victim-blaming to new heights and only further reinforces the sexist, misogynist mindset within rape culture that suggests a girl or woman is somehow always responsible for her own rape.