Guilty plea in sexual battery case

A Sonoma man described by the district attorney as a serial sexual batterer has plead guilty to attacking five women over a one-year period. Samuel Johnson Lyons, 37, of Sonoma, faces up to seven years in prison.

Between September 2011 and August 2012, Lyons preyed upon four unsuspecting women and one teenage girl, with his attacks ranging from Petaluma to Sonoma. In each case the women were walking or standing in public when Lyons suddenly and unexpectedly grabbed at their breasts or buttocks.

Descriptions given by his most recent victims helped investigators identify and apprehend Lyons, according to District Attorney Jill Ravitch. During the investigation, Lyons admitted to each of the crimes and provided details of each attack, she said.

Lyons pleaded guilty to one felony count of lewd and lascivious acts on a child who was 14 years old, and four misdemeanor counts of sexual battery. The nature of the charges and the circumstances will require Lyons to register as a sex offender for life, Ravitch said.

Lyons will be sentenced on January 14, 2013.


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