Closing arguments are expected today in the trial of a former state legislator accused of having sex with his wife in her nursing home bed after being told by the home’s staff that she could not consent due her dementia. Seventy-eight-year-old Henry Rayhons took the stand in his own defense on Friday and The Des Moines Register posted video of Rayhons testimony on its website.
“I did not have intercourse,” Rayhons said. Rayhons attorney asked: “Ever?” and Rayhons replied: “No.”
Rayhons broke down in tears nearly a dozen times during his testimony. He described driving back to Garner every night from Des Moines when the legislature was in session, so he could see his wife at night and before he left in the morning.
“Just so I could give her a kiss in the morning,” Rayhons said, his voice cracking.
Rayhons and his wife, Donna, were both widowed when they married in December of 2007. In March of 2014 Donna’s daughters moved her into a nursing home and she died last August. Henry Rayhons is accused of raping his wife one night last May in the nursing home.
During the trial, prosecutors played the tape of an interrogation of Rayhons in which he admitted to having sex with his wife in her nursing home bed. They also pointed to physical evidence indicating Rayhons DNA had been found on the bed linens. Rayhons has pled not guilty and he has accused the investigator who interviewed him of yelling and being so aggressive that Rayhons says he mentally blacked out during the interrogation.
Rayhons had intended to seek reelection to the House last year, but ended his candidacy after being accused of felony sexual abuse.