An ex-drummer of the alt-rock band Cake was slapped with 15 years in prison for molesting a 3-year-old girl during a Thanksgiving party five years ago.
Peter McNeal, who drummed for the Sacramento rockers from 2001 to 2004, was handed the 15-to-life sentence in Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday and ordered to register as a sex offender for life, The Los Angeles Times reported.
McNeal was originally arrested in 2012 and charged with oral sex on a child under 10. The alleged attack happened around Thanksgiving 2009 at a friend’s home in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, Rolling Stone reported.
He was tried twice, with the first resulting in a hung jury and the second a conviction in March 2013, The Times reported.
The 2012 arrest was the musician’s second bust on child sex offenses; he was also hauled in 2009 for another incident in which he allegedly tried to molest a young girl.
At the time of the 2012 bust, friends said they were shocked to hear that the man they know as a devoted father or two had been accused of preying in children.
“I was devastated to hear of the arrest. There is nothing in my experience of Pete that indicates he’s a monster,” former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty, who recorded with McNeal, told Fox News.
“But someone accused of child molestation usually gets labeled as a monster permanently, regardless of what a jury decides.”
Cake, originally a five-some founded by singer John MCrea, blew up in the mid-90s off the strength of their driving, trumpet-embellished hit, “The Distance.”
McNeal replaced drummer Todd Roper in 2001 and appeared on the 2007 LP “B-Sides and Rarities” and the 2011 album “Showroom of Compassion.”
McNeal also served as a session player, most notably with Nora Jones.