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Retired Priest Pleads Guilty To Molesting Young Boy Over 3 Years

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SANTA ANA (CBS) — A retired priest pleaded guilty Friday to four felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14.

Denis Lyons, 78, of Seal Beach, served as a priest at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Costa Mesa, where prosecutors say he molested a young male student for three years, starting when the child was in second grade, KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports.

On four occasions, Lyons sexually assaulted the boy by engaging in masturbation with him, twice in his room in the parish rectory and twice in the church sacristy, according to prosecutors.

The victim, now an adult, filed a report with the Costa Mesa Police Department in September 2008. Lyons was arrested July 20, 2009, while playing cards at a local community center near his home in Leisure World in Seal Beach.

In April 2003, Lyons was charged with molesting a second boy under the age of 14 between 1978 and 1981. This case was dismissed for being passed the statute of limitation.

Lyons is expected to be sentenced May 25 to a year in jail, five years of probation and lifetime sex offender registration that will bar him from entering county recreational areas and city parks which have passed the sex offender ordinance.

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