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Kenneth Sands Caffeine Defense Refuted by 'Twinkie' Expert, Charged With Molestation

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By Sami K. Martin, Christian Post Reporter
July 6, 2012|8:16 am

Kenneth Sands' defense in the case bringing five molestation charges against him centered on the use of caffeine was shot down in court on Tuesday. Sands claimed that drinking caffeine "caused a psychotic episode," though experts say it is highly unlikely the drug would have such an effect.

Excessive caffeine, Sands argued, "caused a psychotic episode. My son-in-law and daughter had never seen that kind of behavior from myself." His defense did not work and the school bus driver was sentenced to 30 days for each of the five counts of molestation.

Experts say that the caffeine defense is highly improbable, given its natural ingredients.

"We have no evidence that coffee is harmful," Dr. Martin Blinder, a psychiatrist, told ABC News. "In fact, there is some evidence that drinking it in one's old age can assist in some Alzheimer's cases."

Dr. Blinder became famous for his part in the 1979 trial of Dan White, a man accuses of murdering Harvey Milk and George Moscone. Blinder argued that White should not be held to the charge of first-degree murder because of something known as the "Twinkie defense."

"When someone gets depressed and abandons his diet, eats junk food, and if you are already on a downward spiral, I can tell you that eating junk food is not therapeutic. If you ever read the label on a Twinkie, only two of the ingredients sound like food products," Blinder explained. That, combined with depression, led to a lesser charge of manslaughter for White.

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Sands, however, was accused of molesting three high school volleyball players and two adult women during a volleyball game. Reports state that he "allegedly touched a 46-year-old woman's breasts multiple times and later tried to grab her butt as she was trying to get away from him."

Even if Sands was going through caffeine withdrawal, which can produce symptoms of irritability and headaches, there still would not be a plausible defense for molestation, Blinder said.

 

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