A California businessman who pleaded no contest to raping a 5-year-old girl will not only never see the inside of a jail, but isn’t required to register as a sex offender.
KMOV reported that Lyle Burgess, 79, was sentenced on Wednesday to 90 days of house arrest and five years probation for the 2016 incident involving a now-7-year-old girl. Family attorney Kenneth Meleyco said Burgess he victimized the child after inviting her and her family to his Calaveras County cabin.
The sentence was handed down a week after Burgess pleaded no contest to felony statutory rape of a child. At the time, defense attorney Gregory Davenport claimed his client’s deteriorating physical and mental health would make it likely that he would opt for in-home detention, The Stockton Record reported.
In court, the victim’s mother tearfully claimed she witnessed two inappropriate encounters between Burgess and her daughter at his cabin in 2016.
“Our daughter has been harmed by this man continuously,” the mother said, according to the newspaper. “I’m incredibly disgusted by his behavior and continuously disgusted by his lies.”
Burgess founded Rare Parts Inc., an automotive parts manufacturer and distributor. According to The Record, Davenport also accused the victim’s family of being “motivated by greed.”
The victim’s father has known Burgess for 20 years. KABC reported that the family has filed a civil suit against Burgess in light of the criminal trial.
KTXL reported that the businessman lives in an upscale gated community in Stockton. The network said a person who answered the door after sentencing declined to speak with reporters.
“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.
“They trusted this man, he was a family friend, and he took advantage of them.”
[Featured image: Lyle Burgess/California police]