Denis Lyons, ex-OC Roman Catholic Priest, Must Register as Sex Offender For Sex With Second Grade Boy


A onetime prominent priest with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County finally will pay for repeatedly molesting a seven-year-old boy inside a parish rectory and church sacristy in the 1990s.

According to prosecutors, Denis Lyons pleaded guilty in March and last week received his punishment: one year in jail, five years of formal probation and 400 hours of community service.

The 78-year-old serial molester must also register for the rest of his life as a sex offender and won't be allowed to visit places where children congregate.
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In 2008, the victim filed a complaint with the Costa Mesa Police Department and officials arrested Lyons the following year at Leisure World in Seal Beach.

“Today
is the day I finally have closure,” a prosecutor's press statement
quoted the victim as saying. “I have spent the last 16 years living in
pain, living in shame. He took away my innocence as a child. This man
has ruined my life and many others besides me. He has changed my
perception of religion, life, and right and wrong . . . He is a bad
person, a bad man.”

Lyons–whose infamous conduct won previous coverage by the Weekly's Gustavo Arellano HERE and HERE–escaped convictions in other alleged molestations because of statute of limitation issues.

In addition to working in Costa Mesa, Lyons also worked as a priest at St. Edwards the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Point and St. Mary's by the Sea Church in Huntington Beach.
 
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R. Scott Moxley’s award-winning investigative journalism has touched nerves for two decades. An angry congressman threatened to break Moxley’s knee caps. A dirty sheriff promised his critical reporting was irrelevant and then landed in prison. The U.S. House of Representatives debated his work. Federal prosecutors credited his stories for the arrest of a doctor who sold fake medicine to dying patients. Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.

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