A woman posed as a man so that she could have sex with another woman, a court heard today.
Blade Silvano is accused of using an unknown object to have ‘intercourse’ during the relationship and even proposed marriage. The ‘sophisticated deception’ involved her claiming to be an Army officer, sending photos of herself ‘shaving’, and never walking around naked.
The 40-year-old is said to have met her victim through an online dating site where she described herself as a man looking for a woman.
Her alleged victim, who can’t be named for legal reasons, only discovered her lover’s true gender by chance on Facebook.
She told police in an interview: ‘She denied me the right to consent. Everyone has the right to know who they are having sex with and what they are having sex with.
‘I consented to have sex with a male, not a female. I did not consent to have sex with a female who was penetrating me with something.’
Blade Silvano, 40, is accused of sexually assaulting the woman she met on the internet, where she allegedly claimed to be male looking for a female partner
Blade Silvano, pictured in a Market Times article from 2016, denies two counts of assault by penetration
The pair met through dating website Plenty of Fish, Cambridge Crown Court heard, with the complainant approaching Silvano – who was allegedly using the name Blade Mendez – ‘because his picture was a little bit different to all the other pictures’.
She told police: ‘It was a photo of Blade himself with a quirky haircut and him pointing towards his hair. That’s what I found different to other people.’
Prosecutor Michael Hillman said they first met up in December 2016 and they kissed, before having sex at a subsequent meeting.
They didn’t see each other for a while after that as the defendant claimed ‘he’d been trampled on by a cow’ while on duty. Silvano had never been in the Army, the jury was told.
The defendant claimed to have been discharged from hospital in February 2017, Mr Hillman said, and the pair met up again for sex.
They planned to marry in December that year but this was postponed when Silvano, of Lydham, Shropshire, allegedly said he was suffering from an illness.
It was only in September the following year that the complainant synced her contacts for a new Facebook account and the defendant appeared with a ‘different surname to the one that I’m aware of’.
The complainant told police in an interview that she did ‘not consent to’ having a sexual relationship with a woman, the BBC reports. Pictured: Blade Silvano outside Cambridge Crown Court
In her police interview, the woman added: ‘There was nothing unnatural whatsoever. He was very fluid when he moved. He wasn’t shy or timid. It did not feel like a woman next to me.’
Her partner’s chest ‘looked flat’ and he ‘walked around in his T-shirt and boxers’.
She added: ‘All the conversations we had, to pictures of him shaving and his stories – he always stated he was male.’
Under cross-examination yesterday, she denied being bisexual when they met and refuted claims she had been a willing participant in a ‘fantasy’.
Deborah White, defending, said the couple had talked of marriage despite only meeting on a ‘handful of occasions’ and questioned why the complainant had sent photos of herself trying on a wedding dress ‘when it’s tradition that the [other] person doesn’t see it until the morning of the wedding’.
‘The reason you sent the photo was because there was never going to be a wedding, was there?’ she asked.
The woman replied that was ‘incorrect’, adding the defendant had raised the subject of marriage with her.
Mr Hillman told the court the alleged victim ‘obviously believed she was communicating with a male’ and Silvano ‘regrettably embarked on a sophisticated deception’.
The defendant, who at the time was running a café in a Victorian town hall in Welshpool, Powys, where her wife Jan had a business selling witchcraft and goth items, denies two charges of assault by penetration.
She claims never to have met the complainant, insists her ‘gender had never come up in conversation’ and denies using the surname Mendez.
The trial continues.