Conn. jury awards $638,000 in case about whether disabled woman could consent to S&M sex

Nov 22, 2014
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A jury has awarded about $638,000 to a woman who sued a man she said had a sadomasochistic sexual relationship with her adult daughter in a case that led to a state Supreme Court ruling on whether mentally ill people can consent to sex.

Mary Kortner, of Greenwich, filed a civil sexual battery and assault lawsuit in 2006 against Craig Martise, a married father of four from the same town, saying her daughter wasn’t able to consent to an abusive sexual relationship with him in 2003 because of her mental condition.

Martise said Caroline Kendall Kortner was able to consent, and he was never criminally charged.

In 2009, a jury found in favor of Martise. In June, the state Supreme Court overturned that verdict and ordered a new trial, which resulted in a new Stamford Superior Court jury finding in favor of Mary Kortner on Thursday.



Kortner’s daughter, known as Kendall, died in 2010 at age 39 from an undisclosed illness. She was diagnosed with clinical depression, borderline personality disorder, bulimia and anorexia, and she twice tried to commit suicide, according to court documents. She also in 2001 had a stroke that left her partially paralyzed from the waist down, court records say.

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