MADERA – A man accused of child molestation was back in court on Friday to be arraigned on 21 counts of unlawful sexual contact with a minor.
Ed Lyons, 85, of North Fork, was held to answer on 9 counts after a preliminary hearing on Mar. 14, but an amended complaint filed by the District Attorney’s office raised the number of counts to 21.
Lyons’ attorney asked the court to release his client with an ankle monitor pending trial, citing his age and health conditions attributed to exposure to the chemical Agent Orange during his service in the U.S. Navy.
“These health issues are legitimate concerns that can’t be addressed in jail,” said defense attorney Robert Troncoso. “My client is not a flight risk, is well-known in the community and is a homeowner.”
Troncoso told the court that Lyons was told by his doctor not to expect to live much longer and not to make plans for the holidays.
Deputy District Attorney Traci Wise argued that the People believe Lyons is an extreme danger to the community, despite his health issues and age.
Judge Dale Blea agreed, ordering that Lyons remain in jail on the bail previously set at $900,000. Lyons will be back in court on May 5 for a review of his probation evaluation. He has pleaded not guilty on all counts.