Man convicted in Earth Treks sex abuse case faces additional charges

Mug shot from Howard County police of Michael Lyons, the man charged with child sex case in rock climbing club.
Mug shot from Howard County police of Michael Lyons, the man charged with child sex case in rock climbing club.(Baltimore Sun)

A 34-year-old man who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl left in his care while working as the head instructor at Earth Treks Climbing Center in Columbia faces additional charges after a second alleged victim has come forward.

Michael J. Lyons, 34, of Baltimore, was indicted on one count of sexual abuse of a minor, one count of sexual solicitation of a minor and one count of fourth-degree sexual offense by a Howard County Grand Jury last week.


Lyons pleaded guilty in November 2011 of one count of sexual abuse of a minor after being accused of having sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl in his charge in April and June 2011. Lyons was accused of having sexual intercourse with her in a closet at the Columbia gym during a team sleepover, and having intercourse with the girl on a team trip to Massachusetts.

He was sentenced in February 2012 to 15 years in prison with all but four years suspended. He was released on probation in November of 2013. 
According to the charging documents, a second alleged victim came forward on Dec. 23, saying Lyons tried to make contact with her upon his release from prison. 
The documents state the alleged victim, who is 19, was coached by Lyons beginning in the summer of 2010, when she turned 16. The alleged victim said Lyons, 30 at the time, began soliciting her for sexual acts, according to the documents.
The alleged victim said she and Lyons had a series of sexual encounters beginning that summer and continuing through June 2011, when Lyons was arrested, according to the documents.
The encounters had escalated to three times a week, most of which the alleged victim said occurred outside her Baltimore County home, according to the documents.
Two of the incidents were reported to have occurred in Howard County, according to police.

The first Howard incident is alleged to have occurred during a team banquet in May 2011 in the parking lot of a restaurant located in the 8300 block of Benson Drive in Columbia.

The second alleged incident occurred in the summer of 2011 at a team sleepover, the document states. In that incident, the alleged victim and a second alleged victim engaged in sex acts with Lyons, according to the documents.

According to the documents, the alleged victim also contends additional sexual encounters occurred in Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia and Massachusetts.

The initial police investigation of Lyons also led to the arrest of former Earth Treks instructor Daniel Lloyd Montague, 20, an assistant climbing coach. Montague pleaded guilty to one count of committing an unnatural or perverted practice. He received probation and a suspended sentence.