A 47-year-old Pacifica man accused of drugging his girlfriend’s teen daughter with sleeping medication, including a pill hidden in a bowl of ice cream, so he could sexually assault her pleaded no contest Thursday to rape and forcible penetration.
Paul David Messersmith’s plea change spares him a jury trial on five felonies which, if he was convicted, could have meant life in prison because he was charged with rape using an intoxicating substance. As part of the plea deal, Messersmith also admitted administering a controlled substance to a victim.
He will receive 21 years in prison and be required to register as a sex offender for life, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Police arrested Messersmith after the 18-year-old girl told her mother, and then police, that on Dec. 11 she found a piece of pill in some ice cream he gave her after a driving lesson and was told the chunk was likely “an additive.” The girl said she grew woozy and laid on the couch with slurred speech when Messersmith pulled off her pajama bottoms and touched her. She said after waking up from a blackout, he carried her to a bedroom and raped her.
During a police interview the following day, the girl shared another incident when she ingested something odd tasting that Messersmith had given her and blacked out. The girl said she awoke to find herself in a hotel room with him fondling her chest but did not tell anyone out of concern for her mother’s relationship with him.
The police discovered the drug Messersmith allegedly used was Zolpidem, better known as Ambien.
He remains in custody without bail pending an Oct. 3 sentencing hearing at which the court will also receive a report on his likelihood to reoffend.
Defense attorney Steve Chase could not be reached for comment.
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