On Tuesday, witnesses in a Connecticut courtroom suddenly stopped slouching and sat up straight when they heard a prosecutor give a short version of the next defendant’s crime: he “had sex with a woman who had expired.”

The prosecution named Aaron Graser, who pleaded guilty to fourth-degree sexual assault and violation of probation.

As the Hartford Courant reported, “At the word ‘expired,’ several heads snapped as lawyers and defendants waiting for their cases to be called turned to watch, listen more closely, and eyeball Graser.”

Interestingly, Graser was sentenced to a year in jail, but not placed on the state’s sex offender registry as the judge found “registration is not required for public safety based upon the facts in this case.”

Last January Willimantic police received a 911 call about Graser’s girlfriend, who was, according to a medical examiner, dead before police arrived; they found heroin and needles near her. Police questioned Graser, who was in the apartment with her; they noticed ligature marks on the woman’s wrists and ankles.

Graser informed detectives he found his unresponsive girlfriend was sitting and hunched over on their bed along with heroin and drug objects, and attempted to rouse her.

The arrest warrant stated, “Aaron stated that he laid the victim down the bed and he rubbed her sternum. Aaron stated he listened to see if the victim was breathing and he heard gurgling. Aaron stated he knew the victim hated having sex with him so he figured that the victim might wake up if he had sex with her.”

Graser continued that he tied the woman’s ankles and wrists to bed posts “because it was a fetish of his.” Then he untied her, put her pants back on and phoned a neighbor, who is a former paramedic.

The Courant reported:

An autopsy determined that the woman was dead when Graser had sex with her. The ligatures were the key. Had the woman still been alive, there would have been bruises under her skin. No bruises meant no blood was flowing at the time, the medical examiner told police, according to the warrant. As for the gurgling Graser said he heard, that could have been decomposition gases escaping the woman’s body, an investigator from the medical examiner’s office told police.

Later testing showed Graser’s girlfriend's death was the result of a drug overdose caused by fentanyl, heroin and another synthetic drug.