The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld the felony conviction of a man who tricked a woman into having sex with him by convincing her that they were high school classmates — and then having her blindfold herself before sex.
According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Michael Kelso-Christy, 23, set up a fake Facebook account in April 2015, using the name of the woman’s high school classmate. He messaged the woman, and they began an online conversation.
After the messages became sexual, the woman agreed to a sexual encounter with the man who she thought was a high school classmate. She would blindfold and restrain herself, and the man would arrive at her home.
After the encounter, the woman grew suspicious when she stopped receiving messages from the man, and the Facebook profile was deactivated. She reached out to former classmates and determined that the man who arrived at her home had not been her former classmate. She reported the assault to the sheriff’s office.
According to the court records, authorities were able to link Kelso-Christy to the crime through his phone number and fingerprints. Investigators allege that he had tried the same scheme with other women.
The man Kelso-Christy impersonated testified that he had heard from several men who confronted him for soliciting sex from their wives and girlfriends.
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When he was arrested, Kelso-Christy was initially charged with sex abuse, PEOPLE confirms. That charge was dropped and he was later convicted of burglary, a charge that also can include entering a home with intent to commit sexual abuse. At sentencing, the judge said that consent must include knowledge of a sexual partner’s true identity.
In his appeal, which was obtained by PEOPLE, Kelso-Christy argued that the sex was consensual. Therefore, he argued, he did not intend to commit sexual abuse as described in the burglary charge.
The Supreme Court justices disagreed. In the majority opinion, Chief Justice Mark Cady said that Kelso-Christy knew that the woman hadn’t consented to having sex with him. “The identity of a sexual partner is no mere collateral matter,” Cady wrote. “Women and men, must be free to decide, on their own terms, who their sexual partners will be.”
Two justices dissented. Justices David Wiggins and Brent Appel wrote that Iowa’s burglary does not specifically address sexual abuse by deception.
Kelso-Christy’s attorney, Melinda Nye, did not return a call for comment. In a statement to ABC News, she said her client was disappointed in the ruling and has “challenged the applicability of Iowa’s sex abuse statutes to his case since he was charged.”
PEOPLE confirms that Kelso-Christy’s tentative discharge date from prison is March 1, 2020.