General Crime

* Samuel Lyons pleaded guilty in Sonoma to sexual assault and sexual battery with a 14-year-old girl

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A Sonoma man pleaded guilty in Sonoma County Superior Court today to sexual assault and sexual battery charges in Sonoma and Petaluma over an 11-month period. Samuel Lyons, 37, pleaded guilty to felony lewd and lascivious acts with a 14-year-old girl in August and four misdemeanor counts of sexual battery against women between September 2011 and August.

He faces seven years in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 14, Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch said. In each offense, the victims were caught off guard in public places when Lyons unexpectedly grabbed their breasts or buttocks, Ravitch said. Lyons admitted and provided details of each of the offenses during the investigation by the Sonoma Police Department, Ravitch said.

Lyons was arrested Aug. 14 for allegedly groping a 21-year-old woman as she got out of her car in a Safeway store parking lot in Sonoma on Aug. 14, police said. The suspect left in a Honda, but the victim took a picture of it on her cell phone. Lyons was arrested near Petaluma Avenue and Linden Street minutes later. Lyons will have to register as a sex offender because of the nature and circumstances of the offenses, Ravitch said.

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