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State prosecutors want Rayhons sex trial moved out of Hancock county

GARNER – A state prosecutor has filed a motion for a change of venue in a Hancock county trial of former state legislator Henry Rayons, accused of felony sexual abuse of his now-deceased wife.

Henry Rayhons, age 78, is a former House District 8 state representative. Rayhons is accused of sexually abusing his wife, Donna Lou Rayhons, on May 23rd when she was a resident at the Concord Care Center in Garner. A criminal complaint states that Rayhons was told a week before the incident allegedly took place at a care conference with care center staff and his wife’s family that she did not have the cognitive ability to consent to any sexual activity. Third-degree sexual abuse is punishable by up to ten years in prison. On September 17, Rayhons pled not guilty and is represented by attorney Joel Yunek of Mason City.

Rayhons was scheduled by judge Colleen Weiland for a jury trial in Hancock county for January 28, 2015 and a pre-trial conference for January 13.

On November 13, Assistant Attorney General at Iowa Department of Justice Tyler Buller filed for a change of venue for the trial. The Des Moines Register is reporting that the venue change was requested “because the prosecutors don’t believe they can get a fair hearing from jurors from his home county.” The Register claimed that such a move is “almost unheard of from prosecutors”.

The Register went on to say that prosecutors contend that local jurors could be prejudiced toward Rayhons by statements from his lawyer and family, which were published by local media outlets. The statements said that no sexual abuse occurred, and that the charges were “incredibly illogical and unnatural, as well as incredibly hurtful.”

Additionally, the Register said that statements from local Republican leaders (Rayhons is a Republican) also implied that the prosecution was politically motivated, the prosecution’s petition says. “These repeated comments by partisan elected officials, published in local media, taint the jury pool and compromise the state’s ability to achieve a fair and impartial jury,” prosecutors wrote.

A hearing is set for December 16 on the matter. Rayons is free on bond at this time.

Henry Rayhons

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Someone help me please. I agree with Philamena on this issue. It sure looks like a witch hunt to me.

Sit back in the chair, and let the smooth stylings of Philosophus seep into your soul.

I don’t know the circumstances, but again this reeks of a sexually repressed culture. So basically the facilities are pissed off that someone broke their NO SEXUAL CONTACT rule. If the couple was married, and spent their life together, and she is suffering debilitation of the mind or body, why is it for the state to say this man cannot comfort or be near his wife in a way he sees fit? So much for the sanctity of marriage…obviously the state doesn’t respect much of anything.

Sorry, but this was rape. According to the facility, she no longer knew him and was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. How scary would it be to have a “stranger” molesting you? They had WARNED him about this very thing.

I guess at that point it should hinge on whether the sex was consensual (as in he seduced her all over again), or whether it was forced and against her will…It’d be interesting to learn what type of sex he engaged in and whether she was unconscious or complicit. Was he romantically kissing her or was he pervertedly trying to stick his penis in her mouth? Graphic, but details do matter.

@JMO-From what I heard he has severe dementia himself. Their whole case hinges on her illness. He didn’t force her and after all those years he just wanted to be with his wife.

And how many years has he been married? This is a sad case as he prolly thought since he was married he owned the rights to have sex. Dirty ole man Huh!! I hope I can just walk when Im his age, wonder if he needed Viagra?

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