Video: Sacramento's Michael Lyon returns to court on charges of videotaping women
Former real estate titan Michael Lyon waived his right Friday to a preliminary hearing on felony eavesdropping and drug charges amid hints that a deal could be reached to avoid a bruising and potentially embarrassing trial.
Lyon, the former chief executive officer of Lyon Real Estate, agreed to skip the hearing scheduled for Friday and had his case continued to Dec. 18 for “further proceedings.”
“We’re hoping to be able to resolve the matter,” Deputy District Attorney Michael Kane told Sacramento Superior Court Judge Joseph Orr.
Lyon’s attorney, William Portanova, said after the brief hearing that he “couldn’t discuss the specifics of any potential offers from the government at this time.”
But, he added, “every case is subject to either war or settlement, so at any given moment anything is possible.”
Lyon faces 16 counts of secretly recording his interactions with eight women in his home, as well as charges of possession of methamphetamine for sale and possession of morphine. The charges stem from a raid on his Arden Park house in October 2014 after he failed to show up for an appointment with his probation officer. That raid also led to the arrest of his girlfriend, Shannon Lynn Campbell, on drug and probation violation charges.
Both Lyon, 59, and Campbell, 41, entered not guilty pleas on Friday.
Lyon was on probation for an earlier conviction for secretly recording his interactions with four women, crimes for which he served about a month in jail and five more months in home detention.
He pleaded guilty in that case and subsequently paid a $2.5 million settlement to eight former friends and house guests who sued him over an elaborate secret video recording system he used to record them in bathrooms, showers and other private areas.
The eavesdropping charges could net Lyon up to three years in prison on each count. He spent six months in the Sacramento County jail following his arrest in October and was released on $285,000 bail in April.
Lyon, a former Boy Scout leader and darling of Sacramento’s business and philanthropic circles, also faces a lawsuit filed in June by one of the eight women in the pending criminal case. That suit, filed by a woman identified as “Jane Doe,” accuses him of recording her “while she was engaged in private sexual behavior with Mr. Lyon in his residence.”