Here are things that coffee can do: It can perk you up. It can possibly help you live longer. It might make IVF less effective. But among the things it isn’t known for doing? Turning a regular person who understands that “no means no” into a scary groper who inappropriately touches three teens and two adult women on the same day. Pretty sure that, regardless of how much coffee you’ve had, you should be able to keep your paws to yourself.
Apparently, so do the courts of Washington State. Kenneth Sands, a 52-year-old bus driver from the Seattle area, was convicted on Tuesday of molesting the five women at an October volleyball game in Onalaska. Sands, who was just spectating at the game and didn’t drive the bus to get there, reportedly touched the breasts of one of the adult women multiple times, and then tried to grab her butt as she walked away. At one point, he even followed the teen girls onto a school bus when they attempted to get away from him, and was eventually kicked off the bus.
But, said Sands during the trial, he wouldn’t normally behave that way. It was the caffeine’s fault.
“I regret the events that happened on October 18,” he said, and noted that the caffeine “caused a psychotic episode…as stated by [my] son-in-law and daughter, [who] had never seen that kind of behavior from myself.”
Caffeine-induced psychosis isn’t entirely unheard of–excessive caffeine has been found to worsen symptoms in schizophrenics, and cause psychosis in otherwise healthy people–but I wasn’t able to find any cases where it lead to a pretty normal guy turning into a total creep who feels up teenage girls and adults. And besides, pretty much any excuse for this kind of behavior could set a dangerous precedent for future cases.
Unfortunately for Sands (and fortunately for women everywhere, not to mention the children he drives around as part of his day job), no one bought it–particularly following the emotional testimony of one of the victims–and the groping bus driver was sentenced to 30 days for each count of molestation.
Which seems like a light sentence, considering the huge violation that each of these women experienced (one of the victim’s mothers spoke about how her daughter’s trust in adults is now shattered), and the fact that the man in question is a professional bus driver for a school district, but at least he’s going away at all.
I wonder how the coffee is in jail.
Image via KIRO news