GARNER — A civil defamation suit involving a former state legislator and his two stepdaughters was permanently dismissed Wednesday.

Henry Rayhons, of Garner, filed a civil suit against his stepdaughters Suzan Brunes, of Klemme, and Linda Dunshee, of Urbandale, accusing the two of defamation leading to the criminal trial where he was accused of sexually abusing his wife.

Henry Rayhons filed the suit after his acquittal on charges he sexually abused his wife, Donna Rayhons, by having sex with her at Concord Care Center in Garner.

Prosecutors alleged Donna Rayhons, the mother of Brunes and Dunshee, was unable to consent to sex due to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Donna Rayhons died of natural causes in August 2015.

Henry Rayhons had filed claims against Susan Brunes, Linda Dunshee, Concord Care Center Medical Director Dr. John Brady and Concord Care Center parent company ABCM Corp. Those claims have been dismissed. 

Henry Rayhons originally included the prosecutor who filed the felony sex abuse charge against him, Susan Krisko, in the suit. She has been dropped from the case as a judge ruled she was exempt from the claim.

“The parties have reported this dispute settled,” court documents say. “The court will enter no rulings on pending motions unless renewed by any party.”

Earlier this year, Brunes and Dunshee filed a defamation counterclaim against Henry Rayhons and his son, Dale Rayhons, of Forest City.

In their counterclaim, Dunshee and Brunes said allegations Henry Rayhons made in his lawsuit — that they wouldn't let him see their dying mother in her final weeks of life — were untrue and defamatory.

Brunes and Dunshee also filed suit against defendant Dale Rayhons in another related third-party action.

The sisters claim Dale Rayhons made defamatory statements about them. Both Brunes and Dunshee claim the accusations made by Dale and Henry Rayhons are false and have caused “serious harm” to their reputations in the workplace, church and community.

Both the counterclaim and the following suit have also been dismissed. 

Contact Courtney at 641-421-0534 or on Twitter @CourtneyFiorini.

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