Crime - Sacto 911

Former real estate exec Michael Lyon released from Sacramento County jail

Michael Lyon, in Sacramento Superior Court last week, has pleaded not guilty to 16 felony counts of electronic eavesdropping. He had pleaded guilty to the same charges in 2011.
Michael Lyon, in Sacramento Superior Court last week, has pleaded not guilty to 16 felony counts of electronic eavesdropping. He had pleaded guilty to the same charges in 2011. rpench@sacbee.com

Former real estate mogul Michael Lyon was released from jail Wednesday after six months behind bars and with 16 new counts of electronic eavesdropping looming.

Lyon bonded out of jail nearly two weeks after a judge set a $285,000 bail. Lyon last year admitted to surreptitiously videotaping his sexual encounters with prostitutes, as well as taping family friends and others when they visited the bathroom and other areas of his Arden Park home.

As a result of these allegations, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Ben Davidian said Lyon would have to give up access to any and all personal cameras, even the one on his cellphone.

Defense attorney William J. Portanova said Wednesday his client was more than willing to comply with the judge’s orders.

“Mike Lyon does not want to have anything to do with cameras at this point so he gladly accepts the judge’s orders,” Portanova said.

Portanova said when his client was released about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, he took a deep breath before stepping into a waiting car and heading “into the wilderness for some quiet time” with friends.

“It's really the first time he's seen the sun in six months,” Portanova said.

Davidian announced the bail conditions, which also required Lyon to surrender his passport, after a March 20 private meeting with Portanova and Deputy District Attorney Michael Kane. The passport was delivered to Davidian’s courtroom less than an hour after the hearing concluded.

Lyon, 59, has been held at the Sacramento County jail since Oct. 1, when he was picked up on a probation violation for violating the terms of a plea deal his attorney worked out with the District Attorney’s Office in March 2011. He settled that case Wednesday with an admission of guilt, and was sentenced to time served – a year, all told, including six months in 2011 and the previous six months spent in jail.

Last month, the District Attorney’s Office filed a complaint that charged Lyon with 16 new counts of the same crime: electronic eavesdropping. The new complaint said the offenses spanned 14 dates with eight victims, identified only as “Jane Doe,” between Jan. 15, 2014, and Sept. 27.

At the time, Portanova did not identify or characterize the female victims or describe Lyon’s relationship with them, except to say the filming captured “consenting acts between consenting adults.”

Lyon, the former chief executive officer of Lyon Real Estate, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He will appear in court May 4 for a status conference, his lawyer said.

Call The Bee’s Marissa Lang at (916) 321-1038. Follow her on Twitter at @Marissa_Jae.

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