For two years, she disguised both her voice and appearance, convincing her friend to wear a blindfold every time they met.
They had about 10 sexual encounters in all — until the time the complainant removed the mask and found that it was her friend Newland, wearing a prosthetic penis.
Judge Roger Dutton called Newland “an intelligent, obsessional, highly manipulative, deceitful, scheming and thoroughly determined young woman.”
Newland tried to argue that they were role playing; that her accuser knew she was in disguise and pretending to be male.
During the trial, she insisted that no blindfold was ever part of the performance, and denied strapping bandages to her chest to conceal her breasts.
The jury didn’t believe the story, and convicted her of three counts of sexual assault.
According to testimony, Newland cooked up a phony Facebook profile with the name “Kye Fortune,” taking on this persona by mimicking a man’s voice when speaking on the phone to her victim.
The reason “Kye Fortune” preferred she wear the blindfold? “He” was highly self-conscious about his looks because he was undergoing brain surgery.
Apparently, the two women spent over 100 hours together.
The complainant would even wear the blindfold while they watched television. Or sunbathed.
Judge Dutton said:
“To successfully pass off a deception of this complexity was a major undertaking, involving dedicated mobile phone lines as well as regular texts from you purporting to be Kye’s relatives. You pursued this course of conduct over a lengthy period, during which you played with her affections, acting entirely for your own sexual satisfaction and choosing to ignore the devastating impact that the eventual discovery of the truth would have on her.”
Newland cried out upon hearing the sentence, and had to be physically restrained by two police officers.
As she was escorted from the classroom, she cried out “Oh my God,” and could be heard screaming.
In the public gallery, friends and family stood in tears, and her father was visibly furious.
Dutton said the defendant had sent a series of emails to the complainant after the mask was removed, apologizing for her indiscretions.
“Your defense,” he said, “was that [the complainant] knew who you were from the outset and that this was just role play. Those apologies were because you knew the game was up and that your cruel deception had been discovered.”
The judge was convinced the psychological component of the case would have a grave and long-lasting effect on the complainant, calling Newland’s actions “a callous breach of the trust that your friend had in you.”
Newland’s disorders were identified in a psychiatric report: social anxiety disorder, a personality disorder, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Her council, Nigel Power QC, argued that all of these were closely linked with issues she had regarding her sexuality.
Her low self-esteem and “blurred gender lines” added to a “very troubling picture”, according to Dutton.
But, in the end, he concluded:
“These offenses are so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence would in any way properly reflect the serious nature of your conduct. As an aspect of mercy, I do not increase the starting point beyond eight years.”
H/t: LGBTQ Nation