Businessman Michael Lyon’s video eavesdropping trial was pushed back to September on Friday, and the former real estate chief is now facing five lawsuits alleging he secretly recorded people having sex while in his homes, according to online court records.
Lyon, 60, appeared briefly Friday morning in Sacramento Superior Court with his girlfriend and co-defendant, Shannon Lynn Campbell, for a trial readiness conference on a trial that had been scheduled to begin July 12.
Instead, the trial date was reset to Sept. 27, the latest delay in a case that began with Lyon’s Oct. 1, 2014, arrest on drug and felony eavesdropping charges at his Arden Park home. Campbell, 42, was arrested on drug and probation violation charges. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Lyon, once the CEO of the Lyon Real Estate firm founded by his father, previously served jail time for making secret video recordings of his interactions with four escorts. He made a public apology in court, and in 2012 he paid out $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by former nannies, baby sitters and family friends who said he had used cameras hidden in bathrooms, bedrooms and showers to record them.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
Lyon was nearing the end of his probation in that case when he missed an appointment with probation officers and authorities raided his home, leading to the current charges he faces of secretly recording his interactions with eight women in 2014.
Since his arrest, five lawsuits have been filed accusing him of recording individuals in “private sexual behavior” in his homes and distributing the videos to others and to adult websites, according to court records.
The most recent lawsuits were filed in Sacramento Superior Court in March by plaintiffs identified as Mary Doe, April Doe and Elizabeth Doe. Each of those suits says the plaintiffs learned they had been recorded when contacted by law enforcement in December 2014 or January 2015 “and shown recordings confiscated from (Lyon’s) home.”
“Plaintiff did not know that hidden, disguised and concealed video imaging and recording devices had been placed throughout the residences owned, occupied and maintained by Lyon,” the lawsuit filed for Elizabeth Doe states in language that is repeated in the other two most recent lawsuits. “She did not know she was being watched or that her images were being recorded while Plaintiff was engaged in private sexual behavior.
“Plaintiff did not know that her private, secret and intimate sexual behavior would be distributed to third parties.”
Lyon’s longtime civil lawyer, Rudy Nolen, declined to comment Friday, but he has denied the allegations in court filings in response to the lawsuits.