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Jan 13, 2:47 PM EST

Child charges against 98-year-old California man dismissed


SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) -- A judge has dismissed child molestation charges against a 98-year-old Southern California man with severe dementia because he may not have known what he was doing.

Kenneth Collins of Laguna Woods was arrested nearly two years ago and charged with committing lewd acts with two girls, ages 10 and 11. Prosecutors say he fondled them through their clothing, masturbated and took off his adult diapers to expose himself during their visit to his Leisure World home.

But the Orange County Register reports a judge dismissed charges on Thursday after concluding that his dementia raised questions about whether his conduct was intentional.

Prosecutors won't refile charges.

His family says Collins spent a week in jail and a month in a medical ward before an anonymous person posted his $1 million bail.

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