Dad Gets Prison for Drugging Girls at Sleepover

Michael Meyden said he just wanted them to go to sleep
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2024 12:29 PM CDT
Dad Gets Prison for Drugging Girls at Sleepover
Michael Meyden stands to read a statement in Clackamas County Circuit Court in Oregon City, Oregon, on Monday, June 10, 2024.   (Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP)

A father annoyed that his 12-year-old daughter and her friends wouldn't go to sleep during a sleepover decided to force them to sleep by drugging them with benzodiazepine. For that, Michael Meyden of Lake Oswego, Oregon, has been sentenced to prison. The 57-year-old apologized during his sentencing hearing Monday after pleading guilty to three felony counts of causing another person to ingest a controlled substance. He said the girls failed to go to sleep by 11pm and he worried they would sneak out of the house, per USA Today. He added he wanted them well rested for the following day's activities, but also really wanted to go to bed himself, per the Guardian.

He made mango smoothies laced with benzodiazepine, a medication used to treat insomnia and anxiety, then gave them to the three girls, all aged 12 at the time. After the daughter and a friend fell asleep, the third girl, who'd only sipped her drink, reported that Meyden stood over the girls to make sure they were asleep. Authorities said he put a finger under one girl's nose, apparently to check her breathing, and moved the arm of one girl and the body of another. The girl who was conscious ended up texting a family friend, who picked her up and notified her parents. All three girls later tested positive for benzodiazepine at a hospital. Meyden surrendered to authorities on Feb. 28 and was held on a $50,000 bond.

Prosecutors said his actions were "inexcusable and reckless." One victim told the court she no longer trusts adults. "No decent parent feels the need to drug their own child and her friends," said the mother of one of the victims, per the Guardian. "No decent parent puts their hands on drugged and unconscious young girls without nefarious intent." Meyden said "my whole life is destroyed" as a result of his actions. "Everything that was important to me up until that point is gone," he told the court. He was ultimately sentenced to two years in prison—an amount negotiated by the parties, his lawyer told USA Today. Meyden will be under supervision for three years after his release. (More Oregon stories.)

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