AUGUSTA — A former corrections officer from Vassalboro was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison, with two of those years suspended, and 16 years’ probation on three convictions for unlawful sexual contact beginning when the victim was 11 years old.

Travis Lyon, 38, was convicted by a jury in October in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Six people, including the victim, sat on benches on one side of the courtroom. Only the girl’s grandmother spoke at the hearing, and she castigated Lyon, calling him a coward and “a vile, self-centered liar.” She accused him of being callous, unfaithful to his wife and “bellowing at his children.”

The grandmother said the victim’s family is living in a rundown mobile home and is saddled with debt left by Lyon.

“Without support of friends, family and the school, the past two Christmases would have been bleak indeed,” she said.

She urged the judge to “recognize the courage it took (the victim) to say ‘no more.'”

The victim, in a statement that was read by the prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Kristin Murray-James, said she was affected emotionally, physically and psychologically. She said she sometimes felt it was her fault and that she felt violated when Lyon touched her.

At the trial, the victim testified that Lyon touched her a number of times over two and a half years, and on at least one of those occasions, three other people were in the same room, and frequently other people were nearby. According to the indictment, the offenses occurred between March 2011 and August 2013 in Vassalboro.

The victim’s mother said she “spent many nights feeling guilty for not knowing what was happening in my own home” and asked for Lyon to be banned from contact with any children under 18.

“I do not want to see anyone have to go through the pain and grief we have had to endure,” she said in a letter read by the prosecutor.

Lyon, wearing a blue uniform with the abbreviation for Two Bridges Regional Jail on the back, did not speak during the hearing. His defense attorney, William Baghdoyan, who also represented Lyon at the trial, said Lyon opted against speaking because of the potential for appeal.

Lyon’s father and four other individuals, including three people who testified on Lyon’s behalf, sat behind Lyon.

They said they would remain friends with Lyon and would trust him with their own children.

One woman, a former coworker of Lyon’s when he was a corrections officer at the Kennebec County jail in Augusta, said she and Lyon have a 10-year-old son from a two-year relationship and asked the judge to allow Lyon to have contact with him. The judge refused.

Baghdoyan asked for a shorter prison term, saying that Lyon has no criminal record, has been working since high school and provided child support for the son that resulted from his affair. He referred to his client as “one of the most likely people to be rehabilitated.”

Baghdoyan said because the crimes are sex offenses against a child and because Lyon had been a corrections officer at a jail and then a guard at the Maine State Prison for many years, he is likely to have a much more difficult time in prison than other defendants.

As a condition of probation, Murphy banned him from contact with children under 16 and ordered him to register as a lifetime offender under the state’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

Lyon has been in custody since his conviction in late October. He testified at his trial, maintaining he was innocent of the charges.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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