Lawmaker Accused of 'Raping' Wife With Dementia

Henry Rayhons, 78, says he and wife Donna were inseparable
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2014 2:13 PM CST
Lawmaker Accused of 'Raping' Wife With Dementia
This undated handout photo provided by the Hancock County Sheriff's Office shows State Rep. Henry Rayhons of Garner, Iowa.    (AP Photo/Hancock County Sheriff)

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, Bloomberg reports via the Washington Post. 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. But he seems angrier about how his relationship with his wife, Donna, is being portrayed. "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." Bloomberg gives a detailed account of how things went sour between Rayhons, Donna's three daughters, and officials at the Concord Care Center in Garner, Iowa.

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. (More sexual assault stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.