Man who came to town to work remains as prisoner, sex offender

Casey L. Lyons

Casey L. Lyons, who was a teenager when he came to Montville from a small town in New York to work construction seven years ago, has remained in the town’s prison complex as an adult sexual offender.

The 23-year-old, who pleaded guilty to raping and strangling a 17-year-old local girl in 2006, was charged with a probation violation earlier this month after he allegedly shoved another sex offender at the January Center in Uncasville. The January Center, a residential facility for homeless sex offenders, is located on the grounds of the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center. Lyons is being held in the prison in lieu of a $10,000 bond.

It was a second probation violation charge for Lyons, who served four years in prison for the sexual assault and began 10 years of strict probation following his release in November 2011. Accused of failing to register as a sex offender and comply with other probation requirements, Lyons served an additional year in prison.

He was released in May and was admitted to the January Center, a 24-bed secure facility where sex offenders receive intensive treatment.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, January Center staff called Lyons’ probation officer, Richard Williams, on Aug. 8 to report that Lyons had assaulted another person at the center. Williams told the staff to call state police, who reviewed a videotape of the incident that showed Lyons shoving the resident but not assaulting him, according to the affidavit. The center discharged Lyons for putting his hands on another resident. Lyons had earlier expressed anger about the program rules and regulations, according to the affidavit.

Lyons appeared in New London Superior Court Tuesday on the probation violation charge. Judge Susan B. Handy appointed attorney Bruce McIntyre, a special public defender, to represent him and continued the case to Sept. 19.

According to court documents and testimony, Lyons came to Uncasville from Deposit, N.Y., in 2006 to work construction with George M. Leniart, a registered sex offender who has since been convicted of raping and fatally strangling local teenager April Dawn Pennington in 1996. Leniart is serving life in prison without the possibility of release, a sentence he is appealing.

While working for Leniart, Lyons sexually assaulted the 17-year-old victim on several occasions and choked her to unconsciousness, according to state police, who said he also threatened to kill the girl and her family. He pleaded guilty as his case was headed to trial in May 2010.

Lyons, who told state police that Leniart had confided in him about killing Pennington, refused to testify when he was called to the witness stand during Leniart’s trial in February 2010.

k.florin@theday.com

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