Woman jailed for sexually assaulting friend with fake penis

Gayle Newland arrives at Manchester Crown Court where she is due to be sentenced after being found guilty last month of deceiving her female friend into sex by pretending to be a man, July 20, 2017.

Andy Kelvin/PA/AP

LONDON -- A British woman has been jailed for six and a half years for tricking her friend into believing she was a man and repeatedly sexually assaulting her with a prosthetic penis.

CBS News partner network BBC News reports that Gayle Newland, 27, was handed the sentence on Thursday by the Manchester Crown Court after being found guilty of three counts of sexual assault in a retrial.

Newland was originally found guilty of the crimes in 2015 and sentenced to eight years in prison, but the ruling was thrown out as the court deemed the judge's remarks in summation to have been unfair and unbalanced.

In reading his sentence on Thursday, Judge David Stockdale remarked that, "truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction," and in this case in particular, "the whole truth here is as surprising as it is profoundly disturbing."

"It is difficult to conceive of a deceit so degrading or so damaging for the victim upon its discovery," the judge said, according to the BBC.

Newland was found guilty of using a fraudulent Facebook account that she had created using photos and videos of an American man to fool her the victim into believing she was a man with romantic interests.

The victim testified that she never suspected, during multiple encounters in 2013 with a person she believed to be a man named Kye Fortune, that she was actually engaged in sexual acts with another woman, because she always wore a mask.

She only learned the truth, she told the court, when she removed the mask during an encounter in 2013.

"There was no point until the day I took the blindfold off that I thought for one second that a woman was the person behind this," she told the court.

Throughout the trial, Newland denied hiding her real gender and identity, claiming both women were lesbians struggling to come to terms with their sexuality who agreed to meet for role-play.