Meador pleads no contest |

Meador pleads no contest

Gregory Crofton

A South Lake Tahoe man who had hepatitis C when he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison.

Hepatitis C is a virus that can produce fatal liver disease. Since the March incident, doctors have not found any signs of the virus in the girl, her mother said in El Dorado County Superior Court.

Michael Meador, 42, pleaded no contest to the charge of oral copulation. He told police he was drunk and doesn’t remember violating the girl.

At first, Judge Jerald Lasarow said he was inclined to order a sentence of a year in jail and probation for Meador. He cited three reasons to support that decision: Meador had been drunk when he committed the crime, he had no record other than a DUI conviction and a doctor’s evaluation stated that Meador was not a pedophile.

Lasarow seemed to change his mind after the prosecutor, El Dorado County Deputy District Attorney Anthony Sears, read a portion of a police report that said there was more than one assault.

“It seems to me Mr. Meador had every opportunity not to do it again,” Lasarow said. “What really concerns me is that this didn’t happen once, it happened several times on different occasions. So the court would find factors against probation.”

The girl had been invited to his house by Meador’s daughters, ages 12 and 13, for a sleepover. Meador committed the acts in a room where the three girls were sleeping. The victim ran home in the middle of the night after the assault and told her mother about it the next day.

Meador, a thin man, with tattoos on his arms and thinning black hair that he wears combed straight back, dropped his head as Lasarow announced the sentence.

Once he is released from prison he will be required to register as a sex offender and pay restitution to the victim’s family. The victim and her mother were in court Wednesday.

“My daughter ran out of the courtroom overcome with emotion when the judge indicated probation over prison,” said the mother, whom the Tribune did not name to protect her daughter’s identity. “I’m very happy with the judge’s decision.”

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