Parents claim local businessman sexually touched young female child. Defense. San Joaquin County.


After highly publicized criminal charges, local businessman receives defense verdict in alleged child molestation.

The Case

  • Case Name: Jane Doe v. Lyle Burgess
  • Court and Case Number: San Joaquin Superior Court / STK-CV-UPI-2018-5909
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, July 11, 2019
  • Date Action was Filed: Monday, May 21, 2018
  • Type of Case: Emotional Distress, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Battery
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Roger Ross
  • Plaintiffs:
    The Doe Family
  • Defendants:
    Lyle Burgess, 79
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: Defense verdict.
  • Punitive Damages:


    Plaintiff's pre-trial motion to discover defendant's financial condition was granted. Plaintiffs engaged in extensive deposition and discovery practice regarding defendant's worth. No liability.

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 7 weeks.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 1 1/2 hours.
  • Jury Polls: 11 found that defendant did not molest Jane Doe. 1 juror abstained.
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: None filed yet.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Kenneth Meleyco, Stockton.

    Floyd Cranmore, Stockton.

    Thorsnes Bartolotta by Brett Schreiber, Kevin Quinn and Jarrett Charo, San Diego.


  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Law Offices of Gregory R. Davenport by Gregory R. Davenport, Stockton.

    Bohm Law Group, Inc. by Lawrance Bohm, Kelsey Ciarimboli and Kyle Pruner, Sacramento and Stockton.

    Boutin Jones Inc. by Thomas Mouzes, Sacramento.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Lenore Terr, M.D., psychiatry, San Francisco.

    Ann Salter, M.D.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Charles L. Scott, M.D., psychiatry, Sacramento.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiffs alleged that defendant Lyle Burgess, age 79 and a long-time Stockton businessman, inappropriately touched their minor daughter, age 5 at the time, on numerous occasions at defendant's residence, and his cabin. The child's mother claimed that she witnessed the minor being fondled by defendant, and that when confronted, the defendant admitted touching the child. The child initially denied the molest when she first spoke with law enforcement.

    Defendant had reached a highly publicized plea agreement in the criminal case brought against him; he pleaded no contest and did not admit guilt in the plea agreement. He was sentenced to 90 days' at-home detention and is not required to register as a sex offender.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant molested minor female child, and as a result, she suffered personal injury and will need counseling for life.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That he never molested the minor. The allegations are false, and were the result of greed, and orchestrated by the minor's mother and agents.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Severe emotional distress.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: None.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: Millions.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: None.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: Millions.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $9,000,000
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $250,000