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Groper blames caffeine high for 'psychotic episode'

Kenneth Sands tried to blame excessive intake of caffeine for groping teens and women.
Caffeine defense groper psychotic episode july 5 2012Enlarge
Kenneth Sands, convicted of groping women and girls, blamed caffeine for causing a "psychotic episode." (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

We've all heard of or experienced the hyperactivity of a caffeine high and the pangs of caffeine withdrawal, but one man blamed caffeine for his crime.

Kenneth Sands, a school bus driver convicted on July 3 of groping women and teenage girls, tried to blame excessive intake of caffeine for what he called a "psychotic episode," according to ABC News.

Sands, 51, was convicted by the Lewis County Superior Court of molesting three high school volleyball players and two women on October 18, 2011 in Onalaska, according to The Daily Mail.

According to KOMO News, Sands allegedly " touched a 46-year-old woman's breasts three different times and later grabbed her butt as she was trying to get away from him" during a volleyball game, and later grabbed the butts of a 15-year-old and another 16-year-old.

Sands told the court that caffeine led to his behavior. He said, "That caused a psychotic episode," according to KOMO News. "My son-in-law and daughter had never seen that kind of behavior from myself."

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If the court had accepted his "caffeine defense" it would have been a legal precedent, much like the Twinkie defense, said ABC News.

Dr. Martin Blinder, who presented the "Twinkie defense" in a 1979 trial, told ABC News, "We have no evidence that coffee is harmful. In fact, there is some evidence that drinking it in one’s old age can assist in some Alzheimer’s cases."

Even those beastly withdrawal symptoms (cravings, headaches, restlessness) from trying to quit coffee wouldn't lead to actions such as those carried out by Sands, Blinder said.

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The mother of one of the victims read a letter in court, saying, "Ken left me with nightmares that would leave me sleepless for nights, afraid to fall asleep. I've had dreams of him hurting me and my family in violent ways over and over again," according to The Daily Mail.

Sands was sentenced to 30 days for each of the five counts, which means he will spend five months behind bars.

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