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Veneta husband gets 2 years in prison.

Byline: Jack Moran The Register-Guard

A Veneta man is following his wife to prison for sexually abusing and providing an array of prescription drugs to a teenage girl who lived with the couple earlier this year.

Michael Girard, 47, pleaded guilty Thursday in Lane County Circuit Court to a felony charge of second-degree sexual abuse, five counts of misdemeanor third-degree sexual abuse and three counts of delivering controlled substances to a minor.

In line with terms of a plea agreement, Judge Lauren Holland sentenced Girard to two years in prison.

His wife, Patricia Girard, received a two-year sentence after she pleaded guilty to similar charges last week.

The victim told police that she had to give "sexual favors" to the couple in exchange for the pills that she became addicted to while staying at their Veneta home between January and May, according to court documents.

The victim was younger than 16 at the time. Prosecutor Chris Parosa said Thursday in court that the sexual contact between the Girards and the girl was "nonconsensual on the basis of (the victim's) age."

Parosa added that the girl trusted the couple but is now upset "and feels like she's been taken advantage of by these people."

Michael Girard's attorney, David Saydack, told Holland that his client spoke of being "ashamed" of the criminal conduct during a conversation that occurred shortly after authorities arrested the couple in early June.

An investigation began May 30 after the victim reported the sexual abuse. She had been staying off and on at the couple's home after her mother's signature was forged - by Patricia Girard - on documents that allowed her to change schools, Lane County sheriff's Detective Stephen Simons wrote in a search warrant filed in court.

The teenager told an investigator that the Girards had given her pills that included the amphetamine Adderall; opioids such as Percocet, Vicodin and OxyContin; the sleep drug Ambien; and Valium, which has a sedative effect, the affidavit says.

The girl said that after some time, the couple began flirting with her. She said that eventually "she got addicted to the pills and would have to do sexual favors with both Michael and Trish in order to get" more drugs, Simons wrote.

The girl described the couple using sex toys on her after she had taken drugs, and at one point "told her not to talk about what happened at the house and if she did they would make her life a living hell," the affidavit states.

The teen further more told authorities that "she didn't feel much" while being sexually abused by the Girards "because she was so high on pills," Simons wrote.

Investigators found a number of text messages between the Girards and the girl in which they discussed using numerous prescription drugs, and sexually explicit messages that Michael Girard had sent to the teenager, according to the affidavit.

Patricia Girard's mother, Marlean Barber, said Thursday after her son-in-law's sentencing hearing that she believes the allegations in the case were "very exaggerated."

Barber said one doctor had written the Girards' prescriptions for all of the medications at their home.

Follow Jack on Twitter @JackMoranRG. Email jack.moran@registerguard.com.

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Title Annotation:Local News; He and his wife, who pleaded guilty last week, sexually abused and provided drugs to a minor living with them
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jul 22, 2017
Words:529
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