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Tuesday, June 18, 2024 | Back issues
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Women Sue Over Sex Tapes

SACRAMENTO (CN) - Two women claim a real estate executive secretly videotaped his sexual trysts with them and sold the tapes to porn websites, and one says he tried to intimidate her to stop her from testifying against him.

Jane Doe and C. Doe filed separate complaints against Michael P. Lyon, in Sacramento Superior Court.

Michael Patrick Lyon was CEO of Lyon Real Estate, according to news reports of his March guilty pleas.

Jane Doe claims Lyon "placed hidden, disguised, and concealed video imaging and recording devices throughout residences that Mr. Lyon owned, occupied, and maintained," and that Lyon gave his guests "no notice or warning their images would be viewed or recorded.":

She claims Lyon "secretly and purposefully recorded plaintiff while she was engaged in private sexual behavior" with him in his home, then sold the tapes to adult websites to "improperly profit monetarily from images and videos of plaintiff engaging in private sexual behavior."

She claims Lyon was arrested after Sacramento police "investigated him for suspicion of recording video and audio of people engaging in private behavior without their knowledge or consent."

Doe says Lyon pleaded guilty to "four felony counts of eavesdropping and recording the confidential communications of (and video images of) persons engaging in private behavior without their knowledge or consent." (Parentheses in complaint.)

Doe says she learned of the recordings on Aug. 18, 2010, when police showed her recordings confiscated from Lyon's home.

She seeks punitive damages for privacy invasion, intrusion into private affairs, and intentional infliction of emotion distress. She is represented by Steven McKinley with Low, McKinley, Baleria & Salenko.

In the second lawsuit, C. Doe claims Lyon contacted her on Oct. 8, 2008 to "engage in a sexual encounter." She says Lyon "did not see or know that recording devices had been placed in the home," and that Lyon did not tell her or ask for her consent to record her.

She claims that Lyon "either intentionally and knowingly turned on the recording devices to capture recordings of plaintiff engaged in private sexual behavior or failed to act to make sure the devices were not operating to record plaintiff engaged in private sexual behavior."

Lyon then "knowingly and intentionally transmitted, published, broadcast, sold, or offered for sale the recording of his sexual encounter with plaintiff to adult websites on the Internet without plaintiff's knowledge or consent," according to the complaint.

C. Doe also says she learned she had been recorded by Lyon, on Oct. 27, 2010, when she law enforcement informed her.

She claims that when Lyon learned that she might testify against him in a criminal trial, he "hired persons to go to plaintiff's house to harass and intimidate her against testifying."

She seeks punitive damages for eavesdropping, intrusion, and privacy invasion. She is represented by Johnny Griffin III.

The Sacramento Business Journal reported on March 14 that Lyons was sentenced to 2 years, suspended, plus probation, including a year in county jail. The judge recommended that Lyon be allowed to serve the year on home detention, but that that decision was up to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office.

The Business Journal reported: "The investigation revealed a similar pattern of surreptitious recording going back about 20 years, according to a sentencing brief prepared by the district attorney's office in advance of Monday's plea. That brief describes video recordings dating back to 1992 discovered on hard drives, but the conduct was 'not chargeable' due to statue of limitations. ...

"(E)arlier recordings involved what appeared to be family friends and babysitters and took place in bathrooms or showers at Lyon's Lake Tahoe home," according to the Business Journal.

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