SANTA ANA -- A jury convicted a former Long Beach police officer
Tuesday of 11 charges of molesting a 14-year-old boy he met in an
Internet chat room and then lured to his Costa Mesa apartment.
The jury deliberated for barely two hours before finding Michael
McDonald, 61, guilty of three counts of oral copulation, two counts of
sodomy and three counts of child abduction.
He was also convicted of one count of showing child pornography to a
minor with the intent of seducing him, possessing child pornography with
the intent of distributing it to young people, and one misdemeanor count
of possessing child pornography.
McDonald, who left the Long Beach Police Department in 1972, faces
more than 43 years in prison, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Jana Hoffmann, who
prosecuted the case.
Defense attorney Frederick McBride declined to comment about the case.
Hoffmann said McDonald met the boy, a resident of Garden Valley in
Northern California, via the Internet.
"It went from chatting on the Internet to phone conversations," she
said. "The boy indicated he wanted to run away."
Hoffmann said the boy left home three times and stayed with McDonald
in October 2000, November 2000 and again in January. The first two times,
he went back home, either by bus or was dropped off by McDonald, she
The last time, however, the boy's parents and police tracked the boy
to McDonald's Costa Mesa home. The parents told police about e-mail
correspondence between their son and McDonald in their computer.
McDonald was arrested by Costa Mesa police Jan. 12. Officers also
found the boy with him at the time.
Hoffmann said the boy testified against McDonald but said he still
cared about him.
Hoffmann said this case was especially disturbing for her because it
involved a former police officer.
"Here is this person supposed to be the keeper of peace," she said.
"But he is evil in disguise."
Hoffmann said McDonald was tried on two other molestation cases in the
1980s but was not convicted on either.
"I regret [the conviction] didn't happen then," she said. "It would
have prevented one other boy from becoming a victim."
McDonald is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 8.