Ex-Cake Drummer Accused of Molesting Child May Be Retried After Mistrial
Peter Ivan McNeal, the former drummer for the band Cake, could be headed back to court in a retrial for charges he molested a 3-year-old girl in a Laurel Canyon home during a 2009 Thanksgiving dinner.
Monday, a judge declared a mistrial in McNeal's case, after the jury reported they were deadlocked at an 11-1 decision in favor of the musician's guilt, according to City News Service.
The incident in question took place at a home where McNeal, 46, was a guest on November 26, 2009. The victim, visiting with her parents from Massachusetts, was one of several children in attendance at the gathering, and trial testimony indicates she participated in a ball game with McNeal during the festivities.
However, the child blurted out a disturbing question after the dinner party to her parents: "Why did that man want to put his penis in my mouth?'' the victim's mother testified her daughter queried. The mother also noted that the daughter specified it was the man she was playing ball with.
The victim's mother also testified that later that evening in the bath, she asked her daughter to show her what happened with the man. The mother said the girl took a metal Thermos bottle, held it to her crotch and "pushed it in my mouth'' while moving her hips.
The family opted to file a claim in Massachusetts two years later, when their daughter brought up the incident again. The victim's parents said they waited in order to be completely certain about the allegations before pursuing a case against McNeal.
McNeal, a father of two who has worked as a drummer, percussionist and vocalist with artists including Norah Jones and Mike Doughty, was arrested in January. He was charged with one felony count of oral copulation and sexual penetration of a child under the age of 10. McNeal was the drummer for Cake during 2001-2004, replacing drummer Todd Roper, who appeared on their 2001 album "Comfort Eagle."
During the trial, the prosecutor also introduced evidence that McNeal was convicted on a misdemeanor charge of attempting to molest a 6-year-old girl just two weeks after that Thanksgiving while the drummer volunteered at a Los Angeles school. He was sentenced to three years' probation.
McNeal returns to court May 29.