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story.lead_photo.caption Calvin Lyons

TEXARKANA, Texas — A man who sexually abused a 10-year-old Bowie County girl he met online was denied post-conviction relief recently by a Texas appellate court.

Calvin Delmonte Lyons III, 26, was convicted in March 2020 of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child by a Bowie County jury and sentenced to a 65-year term.

At trial, the victim testified that she met Lyons on the internet and thought he was giving her a ride to a friend's house the night of Jan. 11, 2019.

The girl had turned 10 the week before.

The girl testified that Lyons never asked her age, even after the fourth-grader pointed to a middle school and said she hoped to go to school there.

In his bedroom, Lyons sexually assaulted child in two different ways.

The girl's parents discovered she was missing about 9 a.m. the following morning.

Bowie County Sheriff's Office deputies scoured the property and outbuildings where the girl lived and began contacting her school friends. The girl's parents realized her cell phone and electronic tablet were missing but the devices were turned off and could not be tracked.

That afternoon the girl convinced Lyons — who lived on Carver Circle — to take her to a friend's house. Once there, her friend's mother recognized the girl from news reports and called police.

Lyons' DNA was found on the girl's body following a sexual assault examination.

Officers testified that the girl had a "baby face" and could not be mistaken for an older teen or adult. At trial Lyons testified during his punishment phase that he could tell the girl was not of age but "ran with it" when she claimed to be older online.

On appeal, Lyons argued that his right to due process was violated. The 6th District Court of Appeals in Texarkana rejected the argument and noted it was not preserved at the trial level for consideration on appeal.

Lyons remains in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. According to TDCJ's website, Lyons will be eligible for parole Jan. 11, 2049. Eligibility for parole is not a guarantee parole will be granted. If Lyons is required to serve his full sentence, he will finish his term Jan. 12, 2084.

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