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Landlord accused of fondling tenants' children

Posted September 25, 2008
Updated September 26, 2008

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— A registered Raleigh sex offender was arrested Thursday on charges that he fondled children of tenants to whom he rented houses.

Michael Assaad Lahoud, 42, of 1905 Grove Point Court, faces nine counts of taking indecent liberties with a child for alleged crimes dating back approximately eight years.

According to a Sept. 11 search warrant for Lahoud's home, investigators spoke to four people who claim Lahoud either fondled them or forced them to touch him on as many as five occasions.

The allegations occurred when the victims, now ranging in age from 12 to 18 years old, were as young as 7 years old.

Lahoud was in the Wake County jail Friday under a $1.5 million secure bond. During an initial court appearance Friday afternoon, a District Court judge denied a request Friday afternoon to reduce the bond.

His attorney, Roger Smith, implied the charges to be an organized effort to smear his client's reputation and called the bond amount "excessive."

"It's like a bond in a murder case," Smith said.

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 back 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.

"Adults need to hold our judicial system accountable so that these abusers are not back recommitting these kinds of crimes," said Rosie Allen, president of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina.

Allen said that because many sex offenders seem to spend little time in jail, parents need to be vigilant in protecting their children.

"We know the overwhelming number of abusers of children are well-known folks to family," she said.

Ninety-three percent of children are molested by someone they know, Allen said, and 90 percent will never tell anyone. One in four girls is molested; one in six boys are molested.

A man who did not identify himself answered the door at Lahoud's home Friday afternoon, saying no one was home and that he was there taking care of the family's dogs.

A tenant of Lahoud, who wished to remain anonymous and does not have children, expressed shock Friday of the allegations, calling Lahoud "a real nice guy."

54 Comments

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  • pamslaff Sep 26, 2008

    Sexual orientation and preferences for certain types of partners are ingrained in ourselves. Nothing can change that. a pedophile will always be a pedaphile and always have the desire to be aroused by children. In prison, ads with little boys are a big turn on for those freaks. Lock them up and throw away the key at the first offense. If they are allowed why don't we get laws passed to place them on chemical castration as a condition of their release...FOREVER.
    Parents need to band together and form a group to lobby for changes to protect the most precious resource our country has..it is our children. STOP CHILD ABUSE!!!

  • redneck39 Sep 26, 2008

    i agree 100% family four nuff said

  • St Ives Sep 26, 2008

    HOw does someone take indecent liberties with a minor and get one year probation instead of ten to life!

  • 3potato4 Sep 26, 2008

    More than one of us commenting on this story has asked for direction on where we might to help a larger group to toughen the existing laws regarding pedophiles and I'd like to think that for that reason, WRAL did this update and included the name of a group to at least start with (Prevent Child Abuse NC). Thank you for that. I will definately contact this group to see what they're all about and if I might be able to help somehow.

  • teacher-mom Sep 26, 2008

    He does seem to have a history... I have a math question, If 25% of victims are female and 16% are male. What are the rest?

  • hairdew Sep 26, 2008

    he is unhelpable....he has been sick for a long time!!! he has several houses in the area that he stays at also....had guns, lots of computers and pictures...hmmmm doesn't look good for lahoud!!!`

  • ChristaS Sep 26, 2008

    Thank you, Iron Fist........I will never understand why people do this, and again, even I don't know the extent of damage that was done to me; I know it affects my marriage relationship with my husband; it has made me suspicious and distrustful of men in general, and that really bothers my spouse and hurts our life together. I despise what he did to me, and feel for anyone who goes through what I did........but again, thanks!

  • iron fist Sep 26, 2008

    ChristaS I know what you went through is very hard, I have a lady friend who was molested by an uncle when she was very young no one believed her. That was several years ago and she still talks about it. It affects our relationship sometimes. I pray that some day you can overcome the mental and physical hurt. I agree with you I have no sympathy for anyone who would to this to a child and I want to add rape a woman to that. No mercy should be shown.

  • jzapata816 Sep 26, 2008

    I know enough that when I pull him up on the NC Registry of Offenders, he was on there with two convictions, granted he was only given probabtion for both. I agree, that as citizens of the United States, we have to respect that all are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Why don't you ask the family of Shasta and Dylan if they feel the same way you do. Duncan was a repeat offender. Is that what you're saying it should take? Let's wait and see what the outcome is with this and then we'll talk.
    Thanks for your input Polly.

  • ChristaS Sep 26, 2008

    My father was a pedophile and molested me for 16 years of life; I have a hard time mustering up any sympathy for this piece of trash; my father's dead now, but I hope he is paying for the psychological damage he did to me, which affects me in many different aspects of life to this date many years later! I have NO sympathy for men who do this to children.........it's disgusting and sick and he needs to be put away. I wish that for ALL pedophiles.......

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