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By Joseph Serna and Paul Anderson | July 21, 2009
A former Costa Mesa priest has been arrested again on charges he molested a boy in his congregation, and this time prosecutors say the charges will stick. Denis Lyons, 75, was arrested Monday afternoon and is due in court today on four counts of sexually abusing a boy under 14 years old with sentencing enhancements for the severity of the incidents, all dating back to between 1992 and 1995. Lyons, who lives in Leisure World in Seal Beach, escaped prosecution in 2003 on charges he molested three other boys when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California law prosecuting old sexual abuse cases.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com | August 20, 2010
COSTA MESA — A former priest is set to go on trial in January for allegedly molesting a boy four times at St. John the Baptist Church in Costa Mesa. The trial of Denis Lyons, 76, is scheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 10 in courtroom C-35 in Santa Ana's Central Justice Center. Judge Frank Fasel will preside over the trial. Lyons is charged with four felony counts of lewd acts upon a minor and faces up to 14 years in prison, if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | March 23, 2012
A former Costa Mesa priest pleaded guilty Friday to four counts of lewd acts with a minor, according to authorities. Denis Lyons, 78, entered his plea in a Santa Ana courtroom as part of a deal brokered with the Orange County district attorney's office. Lyons was a priest with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County when he molested a boy in the rectory and sacristy of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Prosecutors said Lyons molested the boy between January 1992 and December 1995, when the boy was 7 to 9 years old. In September 2008, Lyons' victim filed a report with the Costa Mesa Police Department, according to the D.A.'s office, and Lyons was arrested in July 2009 while playing cards at a community center near his Leisure World home in Seal Beach.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | August 24, 2012
A former Costa Mesa priest was sentenced Friday to one year in jail and five years formal probation for committing lewd acts on a child younger than 14 while he served at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, according to prosecutors. Denis Lyons, 78, previously pleaded guilty in March to four felony counts of lewd acts on a child younger than 14 between 1992 and 1995 while he served as a priest at the church, the Orange County district attorney's office said. Lyons molested the boy for three years when the child, a student at the church's school, was between 7 and 9 years old, prosecutors said.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | June 10, 2010
A former Costa Mesa priest waived his right to a preliminary hearing on child molestation charges Thursday and may go to trial. Denis Lyons, 76, the former priest of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Costa Mesa, is charged with four felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a minor. He faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted. Lyons waived his right to a preliminary hearing Thursday, where prosecutors present a part of their evidence to a judge who determines if there's enough for a trial.
NEWS
August 22, 2004
PUBLIC SAFETY Abuse survivors protest Leisure World residents A group of abuse survivors gathered outside of Leisure World in Seal Beach on Thursday to let residents know that two of their neighbors, including a former pastor at a Costa Mesa church, have faced sexual-abuse charges. Denis Lyons, 70, former pastor at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, and 63-year-old Michael Wempe, a former Catholic priest in Los Angeles, live in the retirement community according to members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
NEWS
June 13, 2011
The jury trial of a Costa Mesa priest accused of molesting a 7-year-old has been delayed, according to court records. Denis Lyons, 77 of Seal Beach, was set to appear at Santa Ana's Central Justice Center on Monday, but will now appear in court at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Lyons is charged with four felony counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14, court records show. He is accused of molesting a boy in the church rectory and sacristy at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Costa Mesa, according to archived reports from the Costa Mesa Police Department and Orange County district attorney's office.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | August 11, 2009
A former Costa Mesa priest pleaded not guilty Tuesday to molesting a boy for three years in the early 1990s. Denis Lyons, 75, the former priest of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, pleaded not guilty to four counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old. Lyons is accused of masturbating a boy twice when he was between 7 and 9 years old in Lyons’ room in the parish rectory and twice in the church sacristy....
NEWS
June 27, 2003
Deepa Bharath A Supreme Court decision on Thursday to strike down a California law that allows prosecution of old sex crimes may force the Orange County district attorney's office to drop its case against a former pastor of a Costa Mesa church accused of molesting a local boy about 25 years ago. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the government cannot retroactively erase statutes of limitations, a...
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NEWS
By Lauren Williams | August 24, 2012
A former Costa Mesa priest was sentenced Friday to one year in jail and five years formal probation for committing lewd acts on a child younger than 14 while he served at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, according to prosecutors. Denis Lyons, 78, previously pleaded guilty in March to four felony counts of lewd acts on a child younger than 14 between 1992 and 1995 while he served as a priest at the church, the Orange County district attorney's office said. Lyons molested the boy for three years when the child, a student at the church's school, was between 7 and 9 years old, prosecutors said.
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NEWS
By Lauren Williams | March 23, 2012
A former Costa Mesa priest pleaded guilty Friday to four counts of lewd acts with a minor, according to authorities. Denis Lyons, 78, entered his plea in a Santa Ana courtroom as part of a deal brokered with the Orange County district attorney's office. Lyons was a priest with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County when he molested a boy in the rectory and sacristy of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Prosecutors said Lyons molested the boy between January 1992 and December 1995, when the boy was 7 to 9 years old. In September 2008, Lyons' victim filed a report with the Costa Mesa Police Department, according to the D.A.'s office, and Lyons was arrested in July 2009 while playing cards at a community center near his Leisure World home in Seal Beach.
NEWS
June 13, 2011
The jury trial of a Costa Mesa priest accused of molesting a 7-year-old has been delayed, according to court records. Denis Lyons, 77 of Seal Beach, was set to appear at Santa Ana's Central Justice Center on Monday, but will now appear in court at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Lyons is charged with four felony counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14, court records show. He is accused of molesting a boy in the church rectory and sacristy at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Costa Mesa, according to archived reports from the Costa Mesa Police Department and Orange County district attorney's office.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com | August 20, 2010
COSTA MESA — A former priest is set to go on trial in January for allegedly molesting a boy four times at St. John the Baptist Church in Costa Mesa. The trial of Denis Lyons, 76, is scheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 10 in courtroom C-35 in Santa Ana's Central Justice Center. Judge Frank Fasel will preside over the trial. Lyons is charged with four felony counts of lewd acts upon a minor and faces up to 14 years in prison, if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | August 11, 2009
A former Costa Mesa priest pleaded not guilty Tuesday to molesting a boy for three years in the early 1990s. Denis Lyons, 75, the former priest of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, pleaded not guilty to four counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old. Lyons is accused of masturbating a boy twice when he was between 7 and 9 years old in Lyons’ room in the parish rectory and twice in the church sacristy....
NEWS
By Joseph Serna and Paul Anderson | July 21, 2009
A former Costa Mesa priest has been arrested again on charges he molested a boy in his congregation, and this time prosecutors say the charges will stick. Denis Lyons, 75, was arrested Monday afternoon and is due in court today on four counts of sexually abusing a boy under 14 years old with sentencing enhancements for the severity of the incidents, all dating back to between 1992 and 1995. Lyons, who lives in Leisure World in Seal Beach, escaped prosecution in 2003 on charges he molested three other boys when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California law prosecuting old sexual abuse cases.
NEWS
August 22, 2004
PUBLIC SAFETY Abuse survivors protest Leisure World residents A group of abuse survivors gathered outside of Leisure World in Seal Beach on Thursday to let residents know that two of their neighbors, including a former pastor at a Costa Mesa church, have faced sexual-abuse charges. Denis Lyons, 70, former pastor at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, and 63-year-old Michael Wempe, a former Catholic priest in Los Angeles, live in the retirement community according to members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
NEWS
July 19, 2003
Deepa Bharath The district attorney on Friday dropped sex abuse charges against a former Costa Mesa pastor accused of molesting a boy about 25 years ago. Denis Lyons, 69, the pastor of St. John the Baptist Church on Baker Street for 18 years, walked out of Harbor Justice Center a free man on Friday, three weeks after a U.S. Supreme Court decision struck down a California law that allows prosecution of old sex crimes....
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