A convicted child sex offender could soon be released from prison after serving 4 years for molesting at least three young girls at a former daycare center.
In April 2014, David Lyons was sentenced to 75 years — 45 to serve at the ACI. The former daycare was located off of Hopkins Hill Road in Coventry, which Lyons co-owned with his wife.
Eyewitness News spoke with one of his victims, now 15-years-old, who said she is scared of Lyons and worries about him being back on the streets.
“It [the daycare] looked like a normal house on the outside, there’d be a room in the back that was closed off,” she said. “I know that’s where he would bring people.”
The victim was 5-years-old when she attended Lyons’ daycare. She said both her and her sister suffered abuse from Lyons.
“The person assaulted us, David, he liked to talk to just one individual girl and keep all of the other girls separate,” she said.
Lyons was arrested in 2011, and eventually arraigned on charges of child molestation. In April of 2014, he was sentenced to 75 years with 45 to serve. He was found guilty of molesting at least three young girls at the former day care center.
On Monday, a medical parole application for Lyons will go before the Rhode Island Parole Board.
The State Department of Corrections referred the application, claiming Lyons is terminally ill. If it goes through, the now 74-year-old man could be released from prison after serving only four years of a 45-year term.
“I just remember instantly thinking that if he is let out, we’re not safe,” the victim said. “And then I thought, well, I wondered what it would be live to move again because I haven’t had to move around since I was little. I thought about leaving behind my friends, my school, my everything.”
The parole board told Eyewitness News that medical parole can be filed for inmates at any time, unless they are serving a life sentence without parole.
But, the victim said that is unacceptable. She said she still deals with anxiety and stress stemming from the abuse. But even more stressful, are the worries she has for her sister, who was also a victim.
“I think I was honestly just too annoying for him to continue the abuse,” the victim said. “But my sister was too quiet, too defenseless. He took advantage of that.”
In victim impact statements, which will be read before the parole board on Monday, the family members detail the pain Lyons caused the two young girls. The statements said they “stole the girls innocence and marred their minds.”
“As much money as it takes, they [sex offenders] deserve to live the rest of their life in jail,” the victim said. “They shouldn’t be able to see another child or another girl again because who knows what they’ll do.”
The Attorney General’s office said they are opposed to Lyons’ parole.
Amy Kempe, spokesperson for Attorney General Kilmartin’s Office, sent us this statement regarding Lyons medical parole application:
“The Attorney General’s Office is opposed to the medical parole of David Lyons. In April 2014, David Lyons was sentenced to three consecutive 15 year sentences, a total of 45 years, after being found guilty of three counts of second degree child molestation for molesting multiple victims, the youngest being six years old. David Lyons is a sexual predator that should serve his full term in prison. He should not be allowed early release due to his medical condition after serving a mere three years of his sentence.
Unfortunately the state’s medical parole statute does not allow victims or prosecutors access to the inmate’s alleged medical condition, so this office can neither accept nor question the medical diagnosis in this case. I do ask the Parole Board to be mindful of the serious nature of the underlying crimes by this inmate, because without knowing more about the inmate’s medical condition, release at this time – barely three years into the first of three consecutive 15 year sentences – will clearly undermine the public’s confidence in the medical parole process. Without the ability to review and challenge the medical opinion this application is based upon, the system remains unfair, lacking the transparency necessary in order for victims, the Attorney General’s office, and concerned citizens to have faith in the process.
It is our hope the Parole Board puts the concerns of the victim before the medical condition of a sexual predator and deny David Lyons parole.”
Due to the state statute, it will not be revealed what his diagnosis is. Lyons does not have any representation for the hearing on Monday.