Tags: henry rayhons | not guilty | sexually | abusing | wife | alzheimers

Henry Rayhons Not Guilty of Sexually Abusing His Wife Stricken With Alzheimer's

Image: Henry Rayhons Not Guilty of Sexually Abusing His Wife Stricken With Alzheimer's
Former Iowa state legislator Henry Rayhons, right, hugs his daughter Sara Abbas after hearing a not guilty verdict in his trial Wednesday, April 22, 2015 in Garner, Iowa. (Arian Schuessler/The Globe Gazette via AP)

By    |   Friday, 24 Apr 2015 09:28 AM

Henry Rayhons, a former Iowa state legislator, was found not guilty of sexually abusing his wife who had Alzheimer's disease at a nursing home last year.

A jury returned the verdict on Wednesday in the case that examined difficult questions about Donna Rayhon's ability to consent to sex while suffering with Alzheimer's and if so, the ability of her longtime husband, Rayhons, 78, to recognize it, according to the Des Moines Register.

Prosecutors had charged that Donna Rayhon was mentally unable to consent before she died last year.

"The truth finally came out," Rayhons said after the jury cleared him of abuse charges. "I have a terrific family and I want to thank them so much for being with me."

"Donna's love for me never changed from the day that we got married to the day she passed away," Rayhons added. "It was always the same. She knew me all the time. She just was a lady who wanted to be loved."

Mark Kasieradzki, an attorney who has tried cases of sexual abuse in nursing homes, told CBS News that the trial raised the question of how doctors handle patients with early onset dementia.

"I think what this case has done is focused a discussion on a very real issue, and that's the role of sexuality with dementia patients and the whole concept of consent," said Kasieradzki.

Nursing home staffers testified during the trail that Donna Rayhons' roommate believed that the Rayhons could have been having sex behind a curtain, but that she never explicitly told them they were having sex. The roommate said in testimony that she was not sure whether the noises she heard that day were sexual in nature, but that they made her uncomfortable.

Rayhons found sympathy from many of his neighbors in the small town of Garner which he represented in the state legislator and where he retired as a farmer, reported KIMT-TV.

"My wife died of Alzheimer's. I lived with Alzheimer's for 10 years," Robert Danger told KIMT-TV. "I feel very sorry for Henry and his family because I know what they had gone through."

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Henry Rayhons, a former Iowa state legislator, was found not guilty of sexually abusing his wife who had Alzheimer's disease at a nursing home last year.
henry rayhons, not guilty, sexually, abusing, wife, alzheimers
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2015-28-24
Friday, 24 Apr 2015 09:28 AM
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