I wrote last month about Lenny Sorenson, 35, a Salt Lake City guy who was criminally charged for conduct he said he committed during an epileptic seizure. Sorenson called me recently to say his case has been dismissed by prosecutors based on his epilepsy.---
You can read the entire story here, but in short, Sorenson survived a car crash in 1992 and has experienced seizures as a result of those head injuries ever since. This was the third time that he was charged criminally for actions he said he committed during a seizure. He was convicted in the previous two cases in part because he made no effort to prove that he has epilepsy.
The most interesting part of this story for me was Sorenson's peculiar seizures: he gets up, he walks around, sometimes he grabs things--like a lady's wrist while riding on TRAX, as in the most recent incident. This intrigued me because I'd never heard of such seizures, and, as the story demonstrates, neither have a lot of people, including Sorenson's own defense attorney.
But, my research and subsequent conversations I've had since publishing the article, showed Sorenson's not alone with these sleep-walking-like seizures. On three occasions, people have since told me that they know of a guy or gal with similar symptoms.
The other really interesting aspect to this story for me was the idea of an epilepsy "closet," to borrow that metaphor from the LGBT community for a moment. Aside from the seizures, epilepsy can usually be hidden, and telling the world about your problem can have wide-ranging implications, starting with loosing your driver's license.
For Sorenson, a condition of the case dismissal is he has to write a letter of apology to the lady he grabbed on TRAX, which he's more than happy to do.