Here at ClimbingNarc.com we like to keep things light and have fun with the sport as much as we can, but some times real life has a way of forcing its way into the conversation. The most recent example is the unfortunate news that Mike Lyons, a well-known and heretofore well-respected head coach of the Earth Treks climbing teams in Maryland, was arrested yesterday and charged with the sexual assault of one of his team members after he admitted to having sex with a 14 year-old girl according to a criminal complaint. Via Jon Glassberg‘s Facebook page is this article from the local Maryland ABC affiliate that lays out the story (video embedded below):
Lyons was immediately terminated from his job at Earth Treks as a result of this news:
We are cooperating fully with Howard County police in their investigation. If you have any information that may assist law enforcement in their investigation, we encourage you to contact the Howard County police’s lead investigator on this case, Detective Aaron Miller (410-313-3200).
We understand that many of you have questions, and Chris Warner, Chris Jenkins and Scot Heidtman of Earth Treks will be available to answer as many of them as they can. We hope that everyone will understand that due to the sensitive nature of the police investigation there may be some questions that have to be referred to Howard County police.
At Earth Treks, our top priority is providing a safe environment for all members of our community. You can rest assured that we will do everything we can to work with the police and ensure that we follow through on that commitment. Again, if you believe that you have information that could be helpful to the police investigation; we encourage you to contact Howard County police directly.
Lyons was also suspended indefinitely from his work with USA Climbing, an organisation he has worked closely with for the past several years in several capacities including head youth climbing coach. USA Climbing released the following statement on their website:
USA Climbing was informed today by the Howard County, Maryland, Police Department that Mike Lyons, the head coach of the Earth Treks climbing team, was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a minor female.
We are cooperating fully with the Howard County Police Department in its investigation. If you have any information that you believe may assist law enforcement in its investigation, we encourage you to contact the Howard County Police at (410) 313-3200 or your local police department.
In addition, USA Climbing is conducting an internal investigation into this matter and Mr. Lyons has been indefinitely suspended from all duties and association with USA Climbing.
We know that many of you will have questions and we will answer as many of those as we can; please remember, however, that this is an active police investigation.
We are obviously deeply troubled by these allegations, and our number one priority is the safety of the athletes.
It should go without saying due to the subject matter in question that there will be a short leash for anyone that wants to add a comment, but if you feel you have something constructive to add please do so.
Update: It was brought to my attention in the comments that the 8a.nu profile for Mike Lyons, from which I posted a screenshot, is likely fake