Posted at: 04/30/2013 10:23 AM
BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont businessman is going to spend up to four years on probation after pleading guilty to charges he solicited prostitutes online while pretending to be a pimp.
Fifty-four-year-old Thomas Lyons, of Old Bennington, pleaded guilty Monday to four misdemeanor charges.
The Bennington Banner reports Lyons had been the target of a lengthy criminal investigation into what police said was a possible prostitution ring. But a prosecutor said the investigation failed to turn up anyone other than Lyons involved in recruiting or soliciting prostitutes.
Prosecutors say Lyons created an elaborate online scheme in which he persuaded several young women in the area to become prostitutes, who were directed to Lyons. The scheme lasted more than a year.
In court Monday, Lyons apologized for his actions.
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