Lenny Jones sentenced to nearly 15 years in prison
May 4, 2016
Former Arroyo Grande citizen of the year Lenny Jones received a prison sentence of 14 years and eight months on Tuesday. Jones, 65, pleaded no contest last month to several child molestation charges.
In Jan. 2015, the Arroyo Grande Chamber of Commerce honored Jones as the city’s 2014 Citizen of the Year. Jones was a realtor and an active member of various community groups.
Two months later, Jones hosted a child’s birthday party at his home. Jones molested girls ages 6, 9 and 12, as well as a 3-year-old boy, during the birthday party.
Officers arrested Jones in April 2015 on numerous charges, including kidnapping, child molestation and penetration with a foreign object.
In April 2016, Jones pleaded no contest to four counts of lewd acts with a child under 14, one count of using a minor to engage in sex acts and one misdemeanor charge of molesting or annoying a child. Prosecutors dropped several charges in exchange for Jones’ plea.
On Tuesday, Jones spoke during his sentencing hearing. He cried in court and admitted to molesting children. [KSBY]
Jones said what he did was wrong and terrible and that he felt ashamed. But, he blamed his addiction to alcohol for his behavior. Jones said he blacked out from binge drinking at the birthday party and does not remember what he did.
Authorities previously charged Jones with child molestation in 1995, but prosecutors dropped the charges after he completed two years of counseling.
Jones has remained in San Luis Obispo County Jail since his April 2015 arrest.