Final Update On Mike Lyons Case

Consider this a final update on the most unsavory story of 2011, the story of youth climbing coach Mike Lyons sexually assaulting a girl on the team he coached.  Multiple outlets including The Baltimore Sun have reported that the 31-year-old Lyons pleaded guilty to one charge and faces eight years in prison after admitting to the charges against him:

Michael J. Lyons, 31, choked back tears as Howard County prosecutor Kim Oldham told Judge Louis A. Becker III that as an instructor and the former head coach of a competitive climbing team, Lyons had sex with the girl several times this year, though he knew it was wrong.

Another coach at the same gym, 20-year-old Daniel Montague, also faced charges stemming from an incident with the same girl, however he received a suspended 18 month sentence:

Judge Richard S. Bernhardt sentenced Montague to 18 months in jail, with all of that jail time suspended. Montague will be put on probation for two years, must complete 100 hours of community service, cannot have any contact with the girl and no unsupervised contact with any female under the age of 16, and is not allowed in or near any Earth Treks facility. He will not be required to register as a sex offender.

…snip…

Bernhardt said that there is no “one size fits all” approach for cases, contrasting the case against Montague with that of Michael J. Lyons, a 31-year-old Rockville man and former head climbing coach at Earth Treks. Lyons, who also worked at the Columbia facility, pleaded guilty last week to having sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl, who was the victim in both cases and has since turned 15.

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15 Responses to Final Update On Mike Lyons Case

  1. Mark1283 December 24, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    Let this be a warning to anyone that see’s an adult (31) acting inappropriately around children, and at 14 she is still a child. It is not like this is a total shock, plenty of random posts about the behavior of certain individuals that is or was suspect. People need to speak up when they see unacceptable behavior rather than brush it off. This includes owners, fellow workers, other parents, etc.. This will never be totally prevented but the signs are almost always there ahead of time. The message is speak up if you are a responsible adult……

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  2. Tyler December 25, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    Narc, I think the focus, especially in light of the holiday season, should be on the new expansion that just opened up at Earth Treks Rockville, making it the largest climbing gym in the country! (by total climbing surface area, not floor area)

    http://tinyurl.com/7gzqaut

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    • Narc December 25, 2011 at 8:33 am #

      To me the focus, in light of the severity of these crimes, should be more on this situation than it has been actually.  This type of situation has the potential to affect a lot more kids than any gym expansion.

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  3. Mark1283 December 27, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

    Tyler, earth treks is lucky  that a civil suit has not been filed, yet. Owning a facility in which you supervise kids and expanding it in light of the circumstances will make it hard to claim poverty later….

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  4. Friend of a Friend December 28, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    In no way do I advocate the behavior of these men – but someone needs to get this “little girl” some help. Clearly she saw herself as being mature enough to handle relations with these men and encouraged the behavior multiple times. While she is still, legally, a child, she is old enough to know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate. No one has yet said anything about her hypersexualized behavior and her purposefully evoking inappropriate responses from these men.Teenage girls are not what they once were. She knew exactly what she was doing, regardless of the consequences. I personally think she should be removed from the climbing team altogether.

    Again, there is no excuse as to why these grown men couldn’t exercise a little self control, but she certainly did not help the situation. While Mike (and the other kid) are total idiots for even remotely entertaining this girl – her lack of self esteem, self respect, morals and values have ruined Mike’s life. 

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    • Reality check December 28, 2011 at 11:56 am #

      Mike’s choices ruined Mike’s life.

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      • mbsst26 December 28, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

        but this tween needs help.

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        • ET Parent February 8, 2012 at 10:02 am #

          Very, very correct.

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    • ET Parent April 10, 2013 at 6:54 am #

      This is really an ET/Chris Warner issue. The “elite” team in each gym is really defined by the best 16 kids in the one location. There is no standard in terms of ability. So, every now and then someone slips into to the elite programs at the smaller gyms who has no business being there. One victim had as “Peers” some really, really good young women Kayla Lieuw, Clarissa Sheltraw, Kerry Scott & Claire Bresnan.

      Kids need to be special, they need to feel valued and important. I suspect that the victim’s climbing did not attract a lot of positive attention. She could not make the opening moves on two finals climbs in Regionals.

      This does not excuse Mike, but it should be food for thought for gyms more focused on their income statement than creating a healthy environment for competitive kids.

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  5. bassie December 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    friend of a friend-  why in the world would you even bring up the 14 yr. old?  she’s clearly lacking of guidance and self esteem.  this makes her a target for pedophiles.  and unfortunately, a couple found her.

    now, tell me again why you’re making excuses for a 31 yr. old who had sex with a 14 yr. old?

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    • Spro1 December 30, 2011 at 9:10 am #

      Quoting Friend of a Friend “there is no excuse as to why these grown men couldn’t exercise a little self control”

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    • Observer March 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

      One of the subtle issues here is that ET fills out slots on the team not based on demonstrated proficiency, but on gym capacity. Thus, with 3 gyms the raw ability on the elite team varies dramatically. So, no excuses for Mike but just appreciate that the victim was looking for attention and not exactly up to the standards of some of the other kids (natioanlly ranked). Lousy position for a kid with self-esteem problems…..

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  6. Awitness February 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Today, the coach was sentenced to 15yrs with all but 4yrs suspended, less time served, which at present has been just over 7 months. Upon his release he’ll be on 5yrs unsupervised probation. He’ll also be a Tier 3 registered sex offender for the rest of his life. He does have the option to appeal the sentence and also have it reviewed by a three judge panel. Upon the conclusion of the sentencing he was lead back to jail in leg and handcuffs.

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    • Awitness February 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

      Correction: 5yrs “supervised” probation

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  7. Oswilo March 7, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    Mike Lyons Update 3/6/2014

    By Luke Lavoie, llavoie@tribune.com
    5:40 p.m. EST, March 6, 2014

    A 34-year-old man who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl left in his care while working as the head instructor at Earth Treks Climbing Center in Columbia faces additional charges after a second alleged victim has come forward.
    Michael J. Lyons, 34, of Baltimore, was indicted on one count of sexual abuse of a minor, one count of sexual solicitation of a minor and one count of fourth-degree sexual offense by a Howard County Grand Jury last week.
    Lyons pleaded guilty in November 2011 of one count of sexual abuse of a minor after being accused of having sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl in his charge in April and June 2011. Lyons was accused of having sexual intercourse with her in a closet at the Columbia gym during a team sleepover, and having intercourse with the girl on a team trip to Massachusetts.

    He was sentenced in February 2012 to 15 years in prison with all but four years suspended. He was released on probation in November of 2013.
    According to the charging documents, a second alleged victim came forward on Dec. 23, saying Lyons tried to make contact with her upon his release from prison.
    The documents state the alleged victim, who is 19, was coached by Lyons beginning in the summer of 2010, when she turned 16. The alleged victim said Lyons, 30 at the time, began soliciting her for sexual acts, according to the documents.
    The alleged victim said she and Lyons had a series of sexual encounters beginning that summer and continuing through June 2011, when Lyons was arrested, according to the documents.

    The encounters had escalated to three times a week, most of which the alleged victim said occurred outside her Baltimore County home, according to the documents.
    Two of the incidents were reported to have occurred in Howard County, according to police.
    The first Howard incident is alleged to have occurred during a team banquet in May 2011 in the parking lot of a restaurant located in the 8300 block of Benson Drive in Columbia.
    The second alleged incident occurred in the summer of 2011 at a team sleepover, the document states. In that incident, the alleged victim and a second alleged victim engaged in sex acts with Lyons, according to the documents.
    According to the documents, the alleged victim also contends additional sexual encounters occurred in Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia and Massachusetts.
    The initial police investigation of Lyons also led to the arrest of former Earth Treks instructor Daniel Lloyd Montague, 20, an assistant climbing coach. Montague pleaded guilty to one count of committing an unnatural or perverted practice. He received probation and a suspended sentence.

    Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/columbia/ph-ho-cf-lyons-indictment-20140306,0,6084452.story#ixzz2vI3fDguN

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