96-Year-Old Man Arrested in Molestation Case

A 96-year-old man has become the oldest inmate in the Orange County Jail after he was accused of molesting two girls more than 80 years younger than he.

Reports say Kenneth Leroy Collins, born in 1919, sexually assaulted the two girls, aged 11 and 12, in January and February of this year. They say he removed his adult diaper in order to expose himself two them, masturbated in their presence, and touched them inappropriately.

Collins has remained in jail, held on $1 million bond, since his arrest on February 25.

The case is interesting in a couple of aspects. First, it shows that anyone can be accused of a sex crime, regardless of gender, socioeconomic status, race, or even age. While some people have a stereotypical image of a "child molester" as someone offering free candy from a van, the truth is that most sex crimes against children are committed by a relative or a close family friend.

Second, the case may bring up interesting defense options. A nearly 100-year-old man who is apparently incontinent might not have the mental sufficiency to understand his actions. If he is shown to be suffering from dementia or other mental incapacity, he could be considered mentally incompetent to stand trial for his actions.

If he is convicted of sexual abuse, then it seems unlikely he will serve anywhere near the maximum sentence for his crime. In fact, at 96 years old, there is a good chance that he would not live long enough to bring his case to trial.

In Oklahoma, child molestation is typically charged as either sexual abuse of a child (21 O.S.§ 843.5) or lewd or indecent proposals or acts to a child under 16 (21 O.S. § 1123). Child sexual abuse is punishable by a maximum of life in prison. Lewd acts with a minor is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison if the child is aged 12 or older, but by a minimum of 25 years in prison if the child is under the age of 12. 

Learn more about Oklahoma child molestation and sex abuse laws here. If you have been accused of a sex crime in Oklahoma, call (405) 418-8888 to schedule a free, confidential case review.

Image credit: Orange County District Attorney

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