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Oregon Man Gets 2 Years for Drugging Daughter's Friends

Fruit Smoothies were Laced with Sleeping Medication so Children would Fall Asleep Sooner

Michael Meyden, left, who was sentenced for drugging his daughter and her friends at a sleepover in 2023, appeared in court in Oregon City, Oregon, on Monday. Photograph: Dave Killen/AP

 (AP) — An Oregon man who drugged his daughter and her friends with fruit smoothies laced with a sleeping medication after they didn’t go to bed during a sleepover was sentenced to two years in prison.

Michael Meyden, a 57-year-old from the Portland suburb of Lake Oswego, apologized during his sentencing Monday after pleading guilty to three felony counts of causing another person to ingest a controlled substance, The Oregonian reported.

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

He said he planned a fun sleepover last summer for his daughter and three of her friends, all then age 12, but they didn’t go to bed by 11 p.m. as he wanted. Meyden said he wanted them well rested for the next day, but he also wanted them to go to bed so he could sleep.

Meyden laced fruit smoothies with a sleeping medication, authorities said. Two of the friends drank the smoothies and eventually passed out. A third girl didn’t want the drink and alerted a family friend by text message after she saw Meyden return to make sure the girls were asleep.

He moved the arm of one girl and the body of another and put his finger under one’s nose to see if she was asleep. The family friend picked up the girl and woke her parents, who then contacted the families of the other girls. The girls tested positive at a local hospital for benzodiazepine, used to treat insomnia and anxiety. Prosecutors said Meyden’s daughter also tested positive.

The girls and their parents spoke ahead of the sentencing to explain the impact the crime had on them, according to the Oregonian newspaper, and asked a judge for a longer sentence, with one mother saying: "You played Russian roulette with my child’s life."

“No decent parent feels the need to drug their own child and her friends,” one of the girl’s mothers told Meyden during sentencing. “No decent parent feels the need to go down and confirm children are unconscious. No decent parent puts their hands on drugged and unconscious young girls without nefarious intent.”


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