Former University of Canberra law lecturer Arthur Marshall Hoyle is currently serving a four-year prison sentence for the rape of a student, making unwanted advances towards two others, and showing a fourth student a pornographic PowerPoint slide.
He was found guilty in 2017 for the crimes, which occurred in 2015 when Hoyle invited the women, all international students, into his office to discuss allegations of plagiarism.
However, according to 9 News, Hoyle's lawyers launched an appeal today at the ACT Supreme Court, claiming Hoyle wasn't aware at the time that his actions were wrong.
They submitted reports that discuss Hoyle's mental capacity, including one report by Neurology professor Bruce Brew, which says Hoyle was "more likely than not" experiencing brain damage.
This would mean a reduction in Hoyle's impulse control and in his recognition of social-cues, Brew's report explains. Brew also claims Hoyle has frontal lobe damage following three traumatic brain injuries, on top of a neurodegenerative disease.
Hoyle still claims that the sexual intercourse with the student who accused him of rape never occurred.
"He seemed to have some idea that maybe he'd done something wrong," Brew told ACT Supreme Court today, 9 News reports. "In his [Hoyle's] world," Brew added, the actions for which he was convicted might have seemed admissible.
The hearing continues.