Popular coin dealer sexually assaults elderly mother-in-law in hospice care; she died days later

A Vermont man admitted he sexually assaulted his mother-in-law as she lay dying in hospice care last summer. He’ll now be a registered sex offender for life.

Burlington’s ABC 3 News reports that Stephen Edwards, 71, was caught doing a lewd act on a 93-year-old woman at the Burlington Health and Rehab last July, after a nurse, who walked into the room to administer morphine to the elderly woman, caught Edwards abusing her. The woman passed away five days later.

Initially, Edwards told the victim’s son that he was paying his respects and kissed the elderly woman on the breasts after checking her breathing. Edwards claimed he meant nothing sexual by the act. Edwards later took a plea deal to avoid trial. He faces around two to five years behind bars, followed by mandatory registration on the sex offender registry.

“I don’t want to speak for the victim’s family but I know that ones that I have spoken with wanted to see a resolution in this case. And this brings them some type of closure without having to go through the trial process,” Chittenden County Deputy State’s Attorney Dana DiSano explained, according to the outlet.

Edwards was a well-known coin dealer in the Chittenden area, Shelburne News reports. Prior to his sexual abuse charges, he allegedly had over $235,000 worth of undocumented business transactions from 2017 and was reportedly investigated for the sale of stolen jewelry.

[Feature Photo: Stephen Edwards/Police Handout]