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Thomas Lyons pleads guilty in Bennington Criminal Court on Monday to four misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitutes. He was sentenced to four years probation.
Monday, April 29, 2013

BENNINGTON - Bennington Subaru owner Thomas B. Lyons pleaded guilty Monday to four misdemeanor counts of prohibited acts, receiving a suspended sentence of 18 to 48 months as a result of a plea deal.

Lyons, 54, had been the target of a lengthy criminal investigation into an alleged prostitution ring. However, Deputy State's Attorney Christina Rainville said in court Monday that the investigation did not find anyone other than Lyons involved.

All four counts Lyons pleaded guilty to Monday involved soliciting a prostitute.

Police had focused the investigation on the Facebook account of a man named Jason Balsh. Prosecutors said in court Monday that Lyons created the character of a young, black male and used it himself to recruit women on Facebook.

A full story will appear in Tuesday's edition of the Banner.