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Caffeine Defense Claimed by Serial Groper

Gerald Zanetti/FoodPix(SEATTLE) -- There’s been the Twinkie defense, the Zoloft defense, the PMS defense and the Ambien defense.  Now, Kenneth Sands -- convicted on July 3 of groping women and teenage girls -- has tried and failed to create legal precedence with the caffeine defense.

Sands attributed his behavior to “an excessive intake of caffeine,” ABC News' Seattle affiliate KOMOnews.com reported.

Sands, 52, is a bus driver for the Rainier School District.  He was convicted of molesting three teenage high school girls and two women during and after a volleyball game on Oct. 18, 2011.

The first groping incident occurred while Sands was a spectator at the game when 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,” KOMO reported and a representative from the Lewis County Washington Sheriff’s Office confirmed.

Following the game, Sands then grabbed two teenage girls outside of a school bus and proceeded to follow the volleyball players onto the bus, according to court documents.  Sands touched another female student in an inappropriate manner before “the bus driver kicked him off of the bus,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Sands insists his behavior was a result of caffeine and that this incident is not representative of his normal behavior.

Dr. Martin Blinder, a psychiatrist known for presenting the “Twinkie defense” in the 1979 trial of San Francisco Supervisor Dan White, told ABC News that he has never heard of caffeine induced groping.

Blinder contrasted the Twinkie defense with the caffeine defense.  The Twinkie defense was successfuly used to help White avoid a first-degree murder conviction for the 1978 assassination of San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone.  White’s attorneys argued he had diminished capacity because of depression.  He was convicted of manslaughter instead.

“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,” Blinder said.  “If you ever read the label on a Twinkie, only two of the ingredients sound like food products.”

But caffeine is made out of coffee beans, all natural and free of artificial ingredients, he said.

“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,” Blinder said.

Blinder admitted that if someone is trying to quit coffee cold turkey that some withdrawal symptoms have taken affect in the form of cravings, headaches and restlessness.  “But going out and molesting women is not one of those symptoms,” says Blinder.

Sands was unable to be reached for a comment.  He has been sentenced to 30 days for each of the five counts of fourth-degree assault, totaling five months in jail.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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