A Rugby man raped a woman when he claimed he misinterpreted her saying no.
Having denied raping the woman, Jordan Eite changed his plea to guilty on the day of his trial at Warwick Crown Court.
Eite (23) of Grasmere Close, Brownsover, Rugby, was jailed for three-and-a-half years and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
Jailing Eite, Judge Griffith-Jones told him: “Rape, it need hardly be said, is always a grave crime, and the sentencing guidelines reflect that fact.
“The circumstances of this crime are relatively unusual. At the time, you were 20, and you were a naïve young man, and you formed a friendship with the complainant on social media.
“She, as she’s quite entitled to do, enjoyed a flirtation with you which involved a sharing by her of intimate desires and characteristics she had with regard to sexual pleasure.
“But there was a fundamental misunderstanding which arose from your belief, for which there were no reasonable grounds.
“It is one thing for someone to agree to what is, in effect, theatre to accentuate sexual pleasure, with all the safeguards that are necessary.
“It is another for there to be no agreed theatre, but over-excitement on your part, and for that to overbear the fact that there is a right for someone to say no to sexual intercourse.
“There was accepted intimacy short of intercourse, but it remains an obvious right for someone to say no. She said that to you on a number of occasions, and you ignored that and, frankly, helped yourself.
“This is a very sad situation in which there are no winners. The fact remains that the basis on which you pleaded guilty on the day of trial, although a brave and honorable decision, is one you could have taken earlier.”
Prosecutor Tom Walkling said the incident took place in early 2016 after Eite and the woman had met each other online. Their messages developed into being flirty and sexual.
She invited him to her flat. In Eite’s basis of plea he said later he offered to leave, but she told him he could stay and pulled out a sofa bed for him to use.
According to his basis of plea, they kissed some more, and he pulled her hair, which he claimed she seemed to enjoy.
Mr Walkling said: “He decided to take things further, and in his state of arousal, he penetrated her, believing she was consenting, but he now accepts that belief was not reasonable.”
The woman made a complaint to the police a week later, and Mr Walkling pointed out: “She made it clear that she explicitly told him ‘no,’ and that she did not want to have sex."
In his police interview Eite was asked whether, when she said no, he thought she was saying no, and he replied: “I think I thought she was 50-50 about it.”