GRAND FORKS — A Grand Forks man was sentenced Monday, Aug. 19, to spend more than seven years in prison for sexually assaulting a teen.
George Robert Lyons, 38, pleaded guilty last month in Polk County District Court to second-degree criminal sexual conduct. A first-degree charge of criminal sexual conduct was dismissed.
Lyons already is serving time on a 20-year sentence in North Dakota on a separate charge of gross sexual imposition.
A criminal complaint said Lyons sexually assaulted a teen, who was then between ages 13 and 15, at his former home in East Grand Forks. The girl told investigators Lyons would grope her and threaten her if she refused to perform sexual acts on him, the court document said. The abuse began in 2012 and charges were filed in 2015.
A charge of perjury related to the case also was dismissed Monday. Lyons allegedly testified he was unaware he was not under arrest during an initial interview with investigators, although transcripts showed he had acknowledged that he knew he was not yet under arrest.
Lyons was found guilty of one count of gross sexual imposition in Grand Forks County District Court during July of 2018. Three similar charges in the case were dismissed.
During a trial, the victim testified that Lyons sexually assaulted her several times during 2009 and 2010. She said Lyons would give her sleeping pills and she would wake up in the middle of the night to him sexually assaulting her at his former home in Arvilla and former residence in Grand Forks.
Lyons denied the allegations during the testimony but was found guilty by a jury. He unsuccessfully tried to appeal the decision to the North Dakota Supreme Court last year.
Lyons will be brought to Minnesota to serve his sentence at a correctional facility in St. Cloud after he finishes his prison sentence in North Dakota.
Lyons on Monday was sentenced to 7½ years in Minnesota prison. The charge held a maximum sentence of 25 years behind bars.
Lyons will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.