Father accused of drugging daughter’s 12-year-old friends with smoothies laced with benzos at sleepover: ‘Mom please pick me up’

News & Politics

An Oregon father is accused of drugging his daughter’s 12-year-old friends with smoothies laced with benzos during a sleepover.

Michael Meyden – a 57-year-old man from Lake Oswego – turned himself in at the Clackamas County Jail on Feb. 28. According to the Lake Oswego Police Department, Meyden was charged with three counts of causing another to ingest a controlled substance, three counts of application of a schedule-4 controlled substance to another, and three counts of delivery of a controlled substance to a minor.

On Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, the Lake Oswego Police Department was notified that three 12-year-old girls were being treated at Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland. The three girls had tested positive for benzodiazepine.

The three girls were friends with Meyden’s daughter, and they attended a sleepover at Meyden’s home the night before.

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Sometime between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., Meyden served the girls mango smoothies laced with benzodiazepine, according to a probable cause affidavit written by Lake Oswego Police Department detective Nicole Palmeri.

Meyden allegedly “insisted they drink them,” and the girls told police the smoothies had “tiny white chunks throughout and sprinkled on top,” according to the affidavit.

One of the girls allegedly didn’t like the smoothie, but Meyden reportedly made a second one for her to try.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration website, benzodiazepines are “depressants that produce sedation and hypnosis, relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, and reduce seizures.”

The DEA website noted, “Benzodiazepines slow down the central nervous system and may cause sleepiness and relaxed mood. Benzodiazepines are associated with amnesia, hostility, irritability, and vivid or disturbing dreams.”

The drugs can cause: “Extreme drowsiness, confusion, impaired coordination, decreased reflexes, respiratory depression, coma, and possible death.”

The drugs are commonly known as benzos and downers.

The girls told police that they soon felt “woozy,” “clumsy,” and even blacked out after falling into a “thick, deep sleep” that she had never experienced before,” according to the affidavit.

The Oregon father was “very involved” with the girls’ activities during the sleepover, which included watching movies and having a “spa night,” according to the affidavit.

“According to the affidavit, Meyden made repeated visits to the basement, at one point holding his finger under one girl’s nose and waving his hand in front of her face to see if she was asleep,” The Oregonian reported. “He also moved one girl’s arm and moved her body on the bed, the affidavit says. The girl “remained awake in fear that Mr. Meyden was going to do something” to her friend, according to the affidavit.”

Once Meyden left the room at 1:43 a.m., one of the girls sent a text message that read: “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!!”

Police said Meyden returned to the basement and stood near the girls for an extended period of time.

A 12-year-old girl told Palmeri that she “could feel him watching her by his presence as she kept her eyes shut, pretending to be asleep.”

Meyden appeared to be “doing tests to make sure we weren’t awake,” a girl told police.

The parent who received the concerning text message purportedly informed the parents of the other girls at the sleepover, and they went to retrieve their daughters at around 3 a.m. on Sunday.

The parents alleged that Meyden resisted at first, and said for them to return in the morning to pick up their girls.

At around noon on Sunday, Palmeri interviewed one of the girls and said she “walked slowly and used the assistance of her mother for balance, her eyelids were heavy, and she spoke slowly.”

Meyden’s attorney, Mark Cogan, told NBC News on Friday, “Mr. Meyden is presumed innocent. We have not seen the evidence. The indictment was issued by a grand jury behind closed doors where no judge, no defense attorney, was allowed. And we hope that people will reserve judgment until all the facts are known.”

Meyden was arraigned on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty.

He was released after posting $50,000 bail.

Meyden and his wife divorced late last year, according to court records.

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