Case raises questions on consent to sadomasochism


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Can mentally ill people consent to sadomasochistic sex? Can anyone consent to abusive sexual acts?

Connecticut's highest court has decided to take up those questions in the unusual case of a Greenwich (GREN'-ich) woman suing a man she alleges had an abusive sexual relationship with her daughter. Arguments are scheduled for Wednesday.

Mary Kortner sued fellow Greenwich resident Craig Martise in 2006. She said her daughter, Caroline Kendall Kortner, could not have consented to sadomasochistic sex acts with him in 2003 because she had been diagnosed with depression and borderline personality disorder. She also was partially paralyzed from a stroke.

Caroline Kendall Kortner died in 2010 from an undisclosed illness. She was 39.

A state jury, however, found in Martise's favor, saying the relationship was consensual. Kortner is appealing.