A former university lecturer convicted of acts of indecency against several students was unaware he was suffering brain damage when he stood trial for the crimes, an appeals court has heard.
Arthur Marshall Hoyle was tried in the ACT Supreme Court in 2017 and found guilty by a jury of raping one student, making unwanted advanced towards two others, and showing another pornographic material.
The offences occurred in 2015 after Hoyle invited the students, all women from overseas, into his office to discuss allegations of plagiarism.
He is serving a four-year prison sentence with a non-parole period of two years and six months.
Lawyers for the former University of Canberra lecturer have launched an appeal based on fresh evidence that has emerged since his trial.
The appeal hinges on expert reports tendered at Hoyle's sentencing.
Neurology professor Bruce Brew said Hoyle was "more likely than not" suffering from brain damage at the time of the offences which affected his impulse control and ability to read social cues.
Professor Brew said Hoyle had suffered three traumatic brain injuries - the first at age seven - which damaged his frontal lobe.
Added to this, Hoyle was also suffering from a neuro-degenerative disease.
Prof Brew said somebody affected by the two conditions could act in a "disinhibited" way and misinterpret cues such as smiles, or consider touching and kissing to be normal social interactions.
Hoyle maintains the non-consensual sexual intercourse he was convicted of never occurred.
Of the other offences levelled against him, Prof Brew said Hoyle might have had an inkling his actions were wrong, but would not necessarily have known for certain.
"He seemed to have some idea that maybe he'd done something wrong," Prof Brew told the full bench of the ACT Supreme Court on Monday.
He said a lay person would not necessarily appreciate Hoyle's mental impairment, but perhaps consider him "a little odd" or over-familiar.
During his trial, Hoyle admitted showing a student pornographic material in a PowerPoint presentation, but denied all other charges against him.
It was not part of Hoyle's defence at trial that his actions were the product of any cognitive impairment, but rather that the events had not happened at all.
But Hoyle's lawyer, Tim Game SC, says the true nature of his client's condition was unknown at the time of his trial.
Asked if the fresh evidence could undermine Hoyle's denials of the offences, Mr Game told the court on Monday: "It could do."
Mr Game suggested the defence of mental impairment could potentially have been run in response to several of the charges against his client.
The hearing continues in Canberra on Tuesday.