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Serial groper sentenced to 10 months in jail

A Sonoma Valley man was sentenced Monday to 10 months in jail for a series of gropings in which he walked up behind women and a teen and grabbed their breasts and buttocks.

Samuel Johnson Lyons, 37, preyed on unsuspecting victims in Sonoma and Petaluma between September 2011 and August, 2012.

Facing possible prison time, the former Peace Corps volunteer pleaded guilty this summer to a felony count of committing lewd and lascivious acts on a 14-year-old and four counts of misdemeanor sexual battery.

His lawyer sought probation so he could continue therapy for his sexual compulsion, but prosecutors argued he was a danger and needed to be punished.

Judge Jamie Thistlethwaite agreed Lyons should be locked up for "terrifying" women across Sonoma County.


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