Local News

Landlord accused of fondling tenants' children commits suicide

Posted August 29, 2011

— A registered Raleigh sex offender committed suicide Monday morning, a few hours before he was scheduled to be in court on charges that he fondled children, according to the Wake County district attorney's office.

Michael Assaad Lahoud was expected to plead guilty to eight counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor, according to prosecutor Melanie Shekita. He was facing an 8- to 10-year sentence, she said.

Lahoud, who had been out of jail on a $1.5 million bond since October 2008, was found dead in a car on Harps Mill Road, police said.

Authorities arrested Lahoud in September 2008 and charged him with fondling his tenant's children.

According to a Sept. 11, 2008, search warrant for his home, investigators spoke to four people who claimed Lahoud either fondled them or forced them to touch him on as many as five occasions. The allegations occurred when the victims were as young as 7 years old.

According to the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry, Lahoud was convicted in February 2002 of one count of taking indecent liberties with a minor and sentenced to probation for a year.

In December 2004, he was convicted on three counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor (dating to March 1992, July 1998 and June 2002) and was sentenced to two years' probation.

Court records also indicate Lahoud was arrested in November 1994 on an indecent liberties with a child charge, but it was dismissed in 1996.


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  • caryboy88 Aug 30, 2011


  • fayncmike Aug 30, 2011

    "The Gov makes too much money on imprisoning non-violent drug users and has no more room. Of course people like this are free. I do not understand how ANY of you are surprised.

    Perhaps you'd be good enough to tell us just how the government makes money by imprisoning non-violent drug users?

  • hellorhighwaters Aug 29, 2011

    What is wrong with the system that allowed this 'man' (not) to be on the streets, continuing to hurt children?

    This man continued for almost 20 years molesting, fondling, and touching children....no babies; and all the system could do was to put him on probation? He should have been locked up. Especially with that many offenses...for the same thing.

    First probation, he didn't get it; second probation he still didn't get it. Three strikes you are out. Oh but he had how many....six chances!!! Can't say I am sadden by his untimely departure. These children will have a life time of fear and unhappiness behind what he did to them. And then on top of that the system let him have 3 years of freedom before his trial. Wonder if any more children will come forward within those 3 years that he free to rome the streets.

  • ladybug68 Aug 29, 2011

    Why is someone accused of harming children, or anyone for that matter, allowed to roam around for 3 years possibly committing the same crime over and over??? Speedy trial I say

  • lilrednekgrl Aug 29, 2011

    Love How Most Landlords do Back Ground Checks on their Tenants..... Perhaps Renters Should Do A Back Ground Check on Their Land Lords?????????

  • Tarheelfan13 Aug 29, 2011

    smeroney stated: "he plaintiffs in the case that was scheduled for today may very well try to sue the state since the state failed to protect the citizens. I'm not saying they would win their case, but the recidivism rate for sex offenders is among the highest & they are not likely to be rehabilitated *this man was a perfect example*. Very sad for all of the victims involved."

    The state is not legally liable because in America people have to be tried and convicted before being officially pronounced guilty. I understand that he was going to plead guilty but for all we know he may have done a 360 when he went before the judge. That would not be likely but pleading guilty still requires a formality where the judge asks questions on whether the defendant understands the legal ramifications of what he is doing by pleading guilty. The state cannot be liable because he was never pronounced guilty in a court of law of the charges.

  • bigbass175 Aug 29, 2011

    Now if all the other criminals would take his lead.......

  • lmparker73 Aug 29, 2011


  • ummyeah Aug 29, 2011

    Hell's population just grew by one.

  • thechristinakimsucks Aug 29, 2011

    I see no downside here.