Anorak News | 78-year-old prosecuted for having sex with his Alzheimer’s afflicted wife

78-year-old prosecuted for having sex with his Alzheimer’s afflicted wife

by | 14th, December 2014

henry rayhonsBest hurry with that Alzheimer’s cure:

An Iowa state lawmaker says he loved visiting his wife at a nursing home before her death at age 79. But prosecutors have filed felony charges against him, saying that her Alzheimer’s made her unable to consent to his sexual desires… Henry Rayhons, 78, now out on a $10,000 bond, has declined to run for a 10th straight term in the state House, saying his reputation is ruined.. “My wife just died and you’re charged with something like this because you prayed by her bed,” he says, sobbing. “It hurts. It really hurts.”..

The daughters had Donna placed in the home, where Rayhons visited often and wanted sex once or twice daily, one of the daughters said. “Henry likes this a lot,” Donna reportedly said while pointing between her legs, and staffers were said to be “sickened.” Rayhons was given a physician-approved document saying that Donna couldn’t consent to sex, but he allegedly continued and may have admitted as much to a state investigator. “It was not a regular thing,” Rayhons told him, saying he “never touched her when she didn’t want it and I only tried to fulfill her need when she asked for it.” Iowa state law doesn’t help him, stating that sex with a permanently mentally ill lover is illegal unless that person “is both a spouse and cohabiting,” the Post notes. Charged with third-degree sexual abuse, Rayhons is scheduled to begin his trial on Jan. 28 in Garner.

Reverse the roles – he’s in the home and she’s the visitor – and review your thinking. And if she was not in the care home, then what?

Bryan Gruley (Bloomberg):

She died on Aug. 8, four days short of her 79th birthday, of complications from the disease. One week later, Rayhons, 78, was arrested. He pleaded not guilty….

By many accounts, Henry and Donna Rayhons were deeply in love. Both their families embraced their marriage. The case has produced no evidence thus far that the couple’s love faded, that Donna failed to recognize her husband or that she asked that he not touch her, said Rayhons’ son Dale Rayhons, a paramedic and the family’s unofficial spokesman.

Based on evidence generated so far, state prosecutors are likely to portray Rayhons as a sex-hungry man who took advantage of a sweet, confused woman who didn’t know what month it was, forgot how to eat a hamburger and lost track of her room.


It’s shocking to me that, until several decades ago, a husband’s forcing his wife to have sex wasn’t generally considered rape in the United States. (It still might not be, at least in some situations and at least as of 2010, in South Carolina.) It seems to me quite obvious that spouses are entitled to say “no.”

At the same time, it seems to me equally obvious that we must consider the parties’ past and unrevoked consent as relevant in some situations where there’s neither a “no” or a “yes.” If A starts caressing B’s genitals while B is sleeping, that’s generally a serious crime. But if A and B are sexually involved, it seems to me it shouldn’t be a crime at all — especially if this has happened before and both parties were quite happy about it — unless B wakes up and says no, or has indicated lack of consent to such behavior in the past.

The only witness is dead. But the living is tarnished. In teh UK, sex cases (tsee: the paedo panic) it’s the other way around…

Posted: 14th, December 2014 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink