Sunday, November 1, 2009

Newark, NJ rapist gets 19 years for attacking gas station clerk

Kyle S. Lyons, 23, of Newark, NJ, was sentenced to 19 years in prison and status as a Tier 3 New Jersey sex offender Friday, October 30 for raping a gas station clerk last year.

Lyon plead guilty to two counts of rape, a first-degree felony; attempted rape, a second-degree felony; kidnapping, a first-degree felony with a sexual motivation specification; and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.

On Nov. 5, 2008, Lyons walked into Gas America, 814 Mount Vernon Road, where the victim was working as a store clerk, under the pretense of needing to use the phone, Licking County Assistant Prosecutor Dan Huston said.

Lyons left, then returned, dragging the victim by the arm and throat into the gas station's bathroom, where he tried to force her to perform oral sex, Huston said. Lyons told her if she did not cooperate, he would kill her, but she still tried to wrestle away, Huston said.

Lyons then grabbed both her ankles, pulling her to the ground, where he forced himself on her, Huston said.
After the rape, Lyons told her to "fix herself up," apologized and left, Huston said. Lyons then burned the shirt he was wearing during the attack and discarded other clothing in a dog-food bag, he said.

Licking County Common Pleas Court Judge Jon Spahr imposed sentence after consulting with the victim, police, and others. Huston said that while Lyons showed signs of mental illness, they were not major enough to prevent senteicing on the sentencing date. "He made a conscious choice to inflict pain and anguish on (the victim)," Huston said.
The victim read a statement to the court describing how the crime affected her, her fiance, and her family. "What you chose to do to me that night has changed who I am, but you did not break me. Because I am a survivor and not your victim, I went back to my place of employment and went on with my life. I still have a long way to go, and so much to heal, but I am not a quitter or a loser, like you."

"No sentence the court hands down can ease the pain or make things right," Judge Spahr said. Lyons' defense attorney, Andrew Sanderson, said that he hoped his client would take advantage of treatment programs and family support while in prison.

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