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Sons of Kirkwood Dementia Patient Outraged Over Sexual Misconduct Charge

A 63-year-old Kirkwood man with a form of dementia was charged with first-degree sexual misconduct. His sons say it's not right.

The two sons of John G. Edwards, of Kirkwood, say they're outraged by recent actions taken by the and the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

On Wednesday, a was charged with first-degree sexual misconduct after a police report stated that Edwards touched a woman's breast while standing in line at the on May 30.

Edwards, 63, has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, which causes "progressive deterioration of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, and includes among its primary symptoms dramatic personality changes, loss of reasoning faculties, and an inability to control one's impulses," stated Grant Edwards, one of John Edward's sons, in an email to Patch.

“It's inconceivable to me that the prosecutor decided to proceed with a formal charge after verifying the facts of John's terminal brain disease,” he said.

Frontotemporal dementia patients exhibit a loss of inhibition, which can result in socially inappropriate and embarrassing behavior, like shoplifting or laughing at a funeral, stated Matt Edwards, John Edward's other son.

He said that his father has had frontotemporal dementia for more than nine years. Most people survive for eight years with the condition, he said.

There is no cure for frontotemporal dementia, which represents more than 10 percent of all dementia cases and affects nearly 50,000 Americans, according to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, a nonprofit organization charged with public education, research and outreach about the illness.

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Sarah Wood September 01, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Patti, I was going to reply to the clearly insensitive, ignorant comment from Anonymous above, but you said it so well and with more tact then I would have mustered. I'm sure this person pressing charges is claiming some sort of pain and suffering... In my opinion she should get in line behind Mr. Edwards -who is dying from a brain disease - and his entire family and circle of friends who are watching a once sophisticated, well-respected businessman, father, geandfather, friend and husband, slide downhill with FTD only to die without the joy of experiencing any "golden years." Out of all of the players I this unfortunate incident, I believe this girl is last in line for any sympathy.
Jim Cooper September 02, 2012 at 06:12 PM
I sponsor the St. Louis Caregiver Support Group for families of individuals with Frontotemporal Degeneration and related dementias. It is a progressive disease, for which there are no known treatments, no cure, and is terminal. It manifests differently and at different rates in each patient. It is devastating disease, physically, mentally and financially for families. There is no easy way to deal with it or with the symptoms. An issue that families deal with regularly is the general lack of knowledge about FTD, surprisingly within the medical and geriatric care communities, as well as the general public. The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration web page, www.theaftd.org, has detail information. The following is an excerpt from their web site: "Frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) is a disease process that results in progressive damage to the anterior temporal and/or frontal lobes of the brain. It causes a group of brain disorders that share many clinical features. The hallmark of FTD is a gradual, progressive decline in behavior and/or language that often has a relatively young age at onset... As the disease progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult for people to plan or organize activities, behave appropriately in social or work settings, interact with others, and care for oneself, resulting in increasing dependency." Jim Cooper
Laurie Soukup September 03, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Laurie Soukup I have to question the St. Louis county Prosecutors office? Who would persue such a case? The man clearly has an illness that was verified by the Brentwood Police Department. John is my brother in law. My sister and her boys are having to watch a once proud husband and father deteriorate slowly. I too understand how a 19 year old may have been upset or startled by the incident. And for that we are sorry. I hope either she or the County prosecutors rethink this case before they carry it forward.
janet verbarg September 07, 2012 at 03:15 PM
The 18 year old needs to grow up. What happened to her was unfortunate, but such a small thing compared to what this family is going through. I hope she lives long enough to grow up and experience the other side of this incident and still have time to apologize to the family for her lack of knowledge and understanding.
Grant Edwards September 17, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Patti, I meant to reply earlier to say THANK YOU for your comments. I was not previously aware of CJD, but I read about the symptoms, causes, and frequency of occurrence on Wikipedia. It sounds like there are many researchers who are actively working to better understand the mechanisms of transmission and to develop a cure. (I hope their important work is not interrupted by having to defend their patients against frivolous criminal charges, as my father's neurologist at Wash U. are being asked to do this week). Anyway, I appreciated what you wrote and wanted to express my condolences for your loss. Grant

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