A British woman is on trial for sexual assault after allegedly using blindfolds and a prosthetic penis to fool her best friend into thinking she was a man—and having sex with her on multiple occasions.
Gayle Newland is said to have posed as a man named Kye Fortune on Facebook in 2011 and started on online relationship with the plaintiff. According to Vice, the 25-year-old from Willaston, Cheshire described herself as a half-Filipino, half-Latino male who’d been in a car accident was diagnosed with a brain tumor afterward. The couple embarked on a two-year phone and online relationship before deciding to meet in person in 2013. (She reportedly told police later on that she found his voice high-pitched.)
During the plaintiff's testimony, she said Fortune made her agree to wear a blindfold for their first sexual encounter at a Chester hotel in February 2013. She obliged because of Fortune’s excuse that he was "anxious about the way he looked" due to his scars and muscle damage. As The Independent reports, this is how it all played out:
She entered the room and was greeted to a bed covered in rose petals and stuffed Hello Kitty plush toys. While Fortune prepped in the bathroom, she put on a sleeping mask and scarf. She described Fortune as "shaking" when approaching her. After the relationship was consummated, he said he had to sign himself back into a Manchester hospital. The relationship continued after more sexual encounters in hotel rooms until Fortune finally visited her apartment.
“When I was having sex, I grabbed for the back of his head and my hand got caught on something. It did not feel right," the plaintiff told a police officer after all was revealed. "I was sat on the bed, he was standing up. Something in my mind said 'pull it (the blindfold) off, pull it off'.... Gayle was just standing there," she added. "Straight away, she held her hand down over her face and said, 'It's not what you think.'"
The plaintiff, who identifies as heterosexual, said she was sickened when she found out her boyfriend was really her female best friend. Newland is said to have also worn a swimsuit, bandages, and a wooly hat to help maintain her disguise. She insists that the sex was consensual and has pled not guilty to five counts of sexual assault. She also accused the plaintiff of being a closeted lesbian.
As for the plaintiff, she is taking partial blame for the incident. When the prosecutor asked if she felt "a bit daft looking back on it," she replied, "It's partly my fault for being so needy, so stupid."