Ex-priest pleads not guilty to Calif. sex charges

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SFGate (San Francisco Chronicle) 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Associated Press June 21, 2010 04:30 PM

(06-21) 16:30 PDT Santa Ana, Calif. (AP) —

A former Roman Catholic priest who was accused of molesting a teen more than 30 years ago has pleaded not guilty to charges that he molested another child in the mid-1990s.

Court records show that Denis Lyons entered not guilty pleas Monday to four felony counts of conducting a lewd act with a minor. Prosecutors say Lyons abused the boy from 1992 to 1995 at St. John the Baptist School, starting when the child was 7.

Charges that Lyons molested a teenage boy beginning in 1978 were dropped in 2003 after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding prosecuting older sex crimes. Lyons was removed from ministry in 2002.

A pre-trial hearing was set for next month in the latest case.

Lyons’ attorney, Gary Pohlson, did not immediately return a call for comment.

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