A longtime California businessman was sentenced Wednesday to 90 days of house arrest and five years of informal probation after pleading no contest to statutory rape of a child.
The man, 79-year-old Lyle Burgess, does not have to register as a sex offender, according to KTXL.
The girl was just 5 years old at the time.
“A 5-6-year-old little girl was molested. Normally the sentence is state prison and then when you’re released, you have to register as a sex offender,” family attorney Ken Meleyco said.
KTXL reached out to Deputy District Attorney Kathy Murray, to find out why Burgess was charged with just statutory rape and why he wouldn’t have to register as a sex offender.
Murray deferred a media person, who said to put any questions in writing online and has yet to respond.
“Future victims are not protected,” Meleyco said.
KTXL also went to Burgess’ home in an upscale gated community in Stockton. The person who answered the door had no comment.
“He’s obviously very wealthy and it’s just an example of how the wealthy people, time and time again, escape the penalty for what they did,” Meleyco said.
Burgess founded Rare Parts Inc., an automotive parts manufacturer and distributor. He was a friend of the girl’s family.
“They trusted this man, he was a family friend, and he took advantage of them,” Meleyco said.
Meleyco says the sex assault happened after the family was invited over to Burgess’ Calaveras County cabin back in 2016.
“The girl is not doing good,” Meleyco said of the girl, who is now 7. “She’s showing all the symptoms of somebody who’s been molested. She’s in counseling, and she’s gonna be in counseling all her life.”
The girl and her family have filed a civil suit against Burgess.