A Republican state representative in Iowa was arrested last week on a third-degree sexual abuse charge for having sex with his wife after a court told him that she lacked the mental capacity to consent, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports.
According to the criminal complaint, on May 15, 2014, Representative Henry Rayhons (R) was told by officials at the Concord Care Center that his wife, Donna Rayhons, no longer possessed the mental capacity to consent to sexual relations.
A little more than a month later, Donna Rayhons’ daughter, Suzan Brunes, was made her mother’s temporary guardian after video surveillance captured Rayhons leaving his wife’s room and discarding her underclothes in a nearby laundry hamper.
Donna Rayhons’ roommate corroborated the video evidence, saying that on the same day he discarded her undergarments, she “heard noises indicating to her that Henry Rayhons was having sex” with his mentally incapacitated wife.
Donna Rayhons died on August 8, 2014 at the age of 78.
The executive director of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Elizabeth Barnhill, told the Press-Citizen that until 25 years ago, it was legal in Iowa for a man to have sex with his wife against her will — but that even with a spousal rape law in place, “convictions are rare,” especially when the victim is incapable of testifying.