Sexual predator arrested again on bestiality charges

St. Johns County Sheriff's Office booking photo of James Lyons

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A 52-year-old St. Johns County sexual predator was arrested for the second time in a week on additional charges of cruelty to animals, sexual activities involving animals and failure to register as a sexual predator.

James Lyons was served an arrest warrant Thursday morning and booked into jail on bonds totaling $61,000.

Last Friday, Lyons was arrested on charges of animal cruelty and sexual activity involving an animal after a neighbor discovered injuries to one of his dogs, deputies said. They said a veterinarian examined the dog and was highly suspicious for animal abuse and bestiality.

Lyons was arrested and released that evening after posting $11,000 bond.

One of Lyons' pretrial release conditions that was ordered by a judge was that he not have any pets at his home.

Animal Control officers responded to the U.S. 1 South home and removed two additional dogs that were inside Lyons' home, deputies said. The two dogs were taken to Matanzas River Animal Hospital for examination.

A pit bull belonging to Lyons did not show any injuries, but a 42-pound Terrier mix female that Lyons claimed was a stray had sustained injuries, according to the veterinarian.

"The injuries to this dog's genitals were appalling," Dr. Nicholas said. "There is no doubt that this dog suffered a great amount of pain. The suffering that this dog endured and continues to endure during the healing process cannot be overstated."

Following treatment, the Terrier mix (pictured, above) is being cared for by county Animal Control and will be offered for adoption and/or rescue at a later time. The pit bull will also be available for rescue.

Lyons was also charged with failure to register as a sexual predator. Evidence obtained by detectives during the initial investigation revealed that he had been staying at the home on numerous occasions since the beginning of the year, deputies said.

During that time, he was registered at a St. Augustine Shores address. It was only after his arrest last week that he registered the temporary address, deputies said.