The light sentencing of a 79-year-old Stockton man who pled no contest to the statutory rape of a 5-year-old has angered many. Lyle Burgess was sentenced to 90 days of house arrest after pleading no contest, and will not have to register as a sex offender, according to reports.
"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.
The businessman reportedly lives in an upscale area of the California city, an advantage Meleyco said played in his light sentencing. Burgess founded Rare Parts Inc, an automotive parts manufacturer and distributor and was a family friend.
"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.
Meleyco said the sexual assault happened in 2016 when the child's family went to Burgess' Calaveras County cabin. The girl's family has reportedly filed a civil suit against Burgess.
"The girl is not doing good," Meleyco said of the child, 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."