Charges Dropped against Ex-Priest

By Larry Welborn
Orange County Register (California)
July 19, 2003

Child molestation charges against a former priest were dropped Friday because of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that bars the prosecution of long-ago sex cases.

Deputy District Attorney Beth Costello told an Orange County Superior Court judge that the ruling prevented her from prosecuting Denis Lyons, 69, on four counts of molestation involving a teenage boy more than 20 years ago at St. John the Baptist Church in Costa Mesa and at the boy's home.

Lyons "is tremendously relieved," said defense attorney Gary Pohlson. "He has always denied the allegations, but now he doesn't have to go through with a trial."

Lyons was arrested in April after the accuser reported to police that he had been sexually abused.

A 1994 change in state law gave prosecutors a year to file child molestation charges from the time the accusations were reported to authorities. But last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that charges cannot be brought if the statute of limitations had expired.

Lyons is the third former priest to have pending charges dropped in Orange County because of the ruling. Prosecutors dropped cases earlier against John Lenihan, accused of having unlawful sex with a 16-year-old girl between 1978 and 1980, and Gerald Plesetz, who had been accused of molesting a teenage girl in Dana Point in the early 1970s.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems