Say What Now? Why Oregon Dad Sentenced for Drugging Smoothies at Daughter's Sleepover Says He Did It |

Say What Now? Why Oregon Dad Sentenced for Drugging Smoothies at Daughter’s Sleepover Says He Did It

A 57-year-old man in Oregon is going to prison after he admitted to drugging a group of preteen girls, serving fruit smoothies laced with a prescription sedative to his 12-year-old daughter and her friends during a sleepover party.

A Lake Oswego father who said he spiked fruit smoothies with his prescription sedative because he wanted his daughter and her three friends to go to bed during a sleepover last summer will spend two years in prison.

Michael Meyden, 57, tearfully apologized and pleaded guilty Monday in Clackamas County Circuit Court to three counts of causing another person to ingest a controlled substance, a felony.

A Clackamas County sheriff’s deputy placed Meyden in handcuffs immediately after the hearing as the three victims, who were all 12 at the time, stood in the courtroom gallery behind him. He may get up to about five months off his sentence if he maintains a clean disciplinary record in prison.

The girls and two of their mothers addressed the court and asked Judge Ann Lininger to impose a longer sentence; each count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The girls said Meyden’s actions represented an extreme betrayal of trust that they have spent months recovering from.

The Lake Oswego police investigation did not identify a motive.

One of the girls said Meyden’s actions caused lasting harm.

“We were taught adults are people we can trust, people we can go to when we need help or when we are scared,” she said. “Yet adults are not people I can simply trust anymore. They are people who scare me and make me think twice: What if they were to hurt me the same way as Mr. Meyden?”

She added: “My life has become a living hell because of you and your actions.”

Another of the girls said Meyden’s daughter was her best friend.

“I trusted him because he was my best friend’s dad,” she said through tears. “He abused that trust.”

The third girl looked at Meyden and told him: “I am disgusted by the look of your face and your actions and all that you have done. You are horrible and I will always hate you for what you have done.”

Meyden laced the smoothies with a sleeping medication, leaving two of the girls sedated and causing them to black out. One of the girls didn’t want the drink and later frantically texted her mother and then a family friend to come get her when she became alarmed over Meyden’s strange behavior that night.

“You played Russian roulette with my child’s life,” the mother of one of the girls told Meyden. “She is barely 5 feet tall and on a good day 70 pounds soaking wet and you overdosed her.”

She said medical testing showed the level of the drug in her child’s system was “off the charts.”

“No decent parent feels the need to drug their own child and her friends,” another mother told the court. “No decent parent feels the need to go down and confirm children are unconscious. No decent parent puts their hands on drugged and unconcious young girls without nefarious intent.”

The Oregonian/OregonLive is not naming the parents to protect the privacy of the victims.

The girls’ parents took them to Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel in Portland the morning after the sleepover where all three tested positive for benzodiazepine, according to court records and prosecutors.

Medical tests showed Meyden’s daughter also tested positive for the drug, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Bryan Brock.

Meyden told the court his plan for a fun and memorable sleepover went sideways when his daughter and her three friends didn’t go to sleep by 11 p.m. as he insisted.

He said he wanted the girls settled in bed by 10:30 p.m. and asleep within 30 minutes. He said he wanted them to be well rested for the following day.

Meyden said he “just wanted them to go to bed” so he could go to sleep.

“I was overly fixated on them going to bed, yes, that is true,” he said.

He said he accepted responsibility for his actions.

“My whole life is destroyed,” he told the court. “Everything that was important to me up until that point is gone.”

Lininger spoke directly to Meyden, telling him he had “created some tremendous wreckage through your decisions.”

“I am hearing you express shame and remorse and I think those are authentic,” she said. “I think you have created a lot of pain and you rightly note that your own family is suffering a lot.”

She said she would abide by the agreement Meyden struck with prosecutors, calling it “a significant sentence.”

“That is accountability you have earned through some terrible, dangerous choices you have made but that is not the last thing that happens in your life,” the judge said. “You have decades and decades of life ahead in which you may have an opportunity to show your children how a person comes back from terrible choices.”

Lininger also praised the girls as “strong, articulate young women who experienced an unfathomable injustice.”

“You came here today and you told the courtroom, the community and Mr. Meyden the impact on you and how you didn’t deserve that conduct,” Lininger said. “You are young people who aren’t afraid to seek justice and want justice for other people.”

During a search of the home, investigators seized computer equipment, a Vitamix blender, a hand-held blender, reusable straws, a mortar and pestle and bottles of a sedative called Temazepam, court records show.

Temazepam is a benzodiazepine used to address insomnia and anxiety and, according to medical experts, can cause too much sleepiness, loss of consciousness and can obstruct the airway.

According to court records, Meyden insisted the girls drink the smoothies; however, one didn’t and was able to provide police with an account of what happened next.

She described how Meyden returned to the basement as the other girls slept and moved her arm and then moved one of the other girl’s body. She told police she stayed awake afraid Meyden was going to harm her friend, according to court filings. At one point, she said she saw Meyden place a finger under her friend’s nose to see if she was asleep and waved his hand in her face.

Terrified, the girl repeatedly texted and called her parents, begging them to come get her: “Mom please pick me up and say I had a family emergency. I don’t feel safe. I might not respond but please come get me (crying emoji), Please. Please pick up. Please. PLEASE!!” She then called and texted several friends asking for a ride.

A family friend drove her home; she woke her parents who woke the other girls’ parents. They picked up the two other girls still at Meyden’s house, court records say.

via: The Oregonian

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