Western Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Eric Norris denied the request for a 12-month family violence protective order against University of Georgia adjunct professor Robert Jeffrey “Jeff” Speakman in a court hearing on Dec. 3.
Norris denied the protective order on the grounds that the person who brought the request had not provided enough evidence to prove that Speakman posed a danger to them.
Speakman was arrested on Nov. 15 for violating a temporary protective order that the petitioner had been granted at the time. As of Nov. 20, Speakman has been suspended indefinitely from UGA and is restricted from accessing the campus.
During the hearing, the petitioner said he had been in a polyamorous romantic relationship with Speakman and had lived in Speakman’s house in Athens with another partner from May to August.
The petitioner moved out of Speakman’s residence in September, six weeks after ending his relationship with Speakman. He said during those six weeks, Speakman spent most of the time away from the residence but returned occasionally and acted with hostility toward the petitioner and his partner.
The petitioner said Speakman raped him multiple times over the course of their relationship.
Speakman’s attorney, Kim Stephens, argued the petitioner had consented to the sex acts prior to them occurring and that no rape had occurred.
The petitioner said he and Speakman practiced BDSM and had sometimes practiced “consensual non-consent,” during which one party pretends to not want the sexual activity but has actually consented to it prior. The petitioner said, however, that he had never consented to some of the activities Speakman performed.
He said Speakman had non-consensual sex with him while he were asleep under the effects of prescribed muscle relaxers. In March, Speakman had recorded himself having sex with the petitioner while the petitioner was asleep and later sent them the video, he said. The petitioner’s attorney displayed the video in court during the hearing.
The judge said that due to the nature of the petitioner’s sexual relationship with Speakman, it was difficult to determine whether the sex acts were consensual.
The petitioner also said Speakman’s actions and “demeanor” caused him immense fear, which led to them them petitioning for the protective order.
Speakman had anger management issues and would fly into outbursts, the petitioner said during the hearing. He said Speakman had once lashed out and hit them three times “as hard as he could.”
Stephens said Speakman had only hit the petitioner as a consensual sexual act, and he had not struck the petitioner in a non-consensual manner.
The petitioner said Speakman kept several loaded guns in the residence, which he kept near his bed. Speakman also once threatened to shoot the petitioner’s dog if it became aggressive, he said.
The petitioner said he had wanted to leave Speakman’s home for months but were unable to do so due to lack of finances.
Speakman's attorney said the relationship had ended poorly after Speakman entered into another relationship with a friend of the petitioner. He said this upset the petitioner, who wanted to “ruin” Speakman professionally and personally.
Stephens also said Speakman had been making payments on a car for the petitioner during their relationship, and the petitioner had never given Speakman the car back.
Stephens presented text messages during the hearing that he said showed the petitioner telling a friend that he had filed a police report against Speakman in order to make him continue paying for the car. He also presented messages indicating that the petitioner enjoyed the sexual relationship with Speakman, which Stephens said were sent one week after the petitioner said Speakman raped him.
The petitioner said he did not remember sending the messages but did not deny that he had sent them.
In addition to denying the protective order, the judge ordered the petitioner to return the car to Speakman.