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Sexual abuse trial of Grand Forks man to start Monday

CROOKSTON--A Grand Forks man accused of sexually assaulting minors on both sides of the Red River over a six-year period is set to begin trial Monday in Minnesota.

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CROOKSTON-A Grand Forks man accused of sexually assaulting minors on both sides of the Red River over a six-year period is set to begin trial Monday in Minnesota.

George Robert Lyons, 37, was charged in Polk County with first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct in December 2015.

The charges stem from claims of sexual abuse of a person under 16 years of age in 2014, according to court documents.

In 2012 and 2013, an East Grand Forks high school social worker and Polk County social worker became concerned over the welfare of the minor, charging documents state.
He entered not-guilty pleas to both counts in February 2016.
Lyons faces 12 to 30 years in prison with a $40,000 fine for the first-degree charge.

In June, Lyons was charged with four counts of gross sexual imposition in North Dakota, three of which are Class AA felonies punishable by life in prison.

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He is accused of giving a 13-year-old sleeping pills, sexually abusing the victim in March 2009 in Grand Forks County. That case was reported to Grand Forks Social Services, court documents state.

In February 2010, the victim reported to Red River Children's Advocacy Center that Lyons committed similar abuses throughout 2009 and 2010. In January 2010, the victim also reported that Lyons assaulted the victim when she was 14 years old.
The charges came after an investigation from the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which began in January 2016 after the Grand Forks County State's Attorney's Office requested BCI reopen the case.

However, the Grand Forks State's Attorney's Office requested the North Dakota Attorney General's Office prosecute the case. Both offices declined to comment on the reasoning for the request when contacted by the Herald.

Lyons has been free on a Minnesota bond since being charged in Polk County.

His next North Dakota court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 30.

Related Topics: CRIME
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