Convict in 1990 Grass Valley sex assault denied parole |

Convict in 1990 Grass Valley sex assault denied parole

A Smartsville man currently serving a life term for a 1990 sexual assault has been denied parole for at least the next three years.

Michael McIntosh, who is now 59, is currently incarcerated at the California Heath Care Facility in Stockton, a facility that provides both outpatient and inpatient mental health services for patients with serious mental disorders.

According to the state parole board, McIntosh was first eligible for parole in 2009. At a hearing that year, parole was denied for seven years. In 2016, he stipulated to his unsuitability for parole for a period of five years.

McIntosh’s latest parole hearing was conducted Jan. 26, and the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office opposed parole, according to a press release.

He next will be eligible for a parole hearing in January 2024, according to the parole board website.

McIntosh was arrested just days after the May 16, 1990, attack in which he handcuffed the victim, taped his mouth shut, and blindfolded him before sexually assaulting him. Michael McIntosh later attempted to strangle the victim with a rope, but the victim escaped.

The suspect was reported to have posed as a woman in phone calls, always targeting young, athletic male Nevada Union High School students.

McIntosh’s first trial started in October 1990 but was moved to Placer County after a majority of potential jurors indicated they had followed the case through The Union’s reporting.

“It was pretty obvious that his behavior was the result of mental illness,” defense attorney Stephen Munkelt recalled, saying McIntosh suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder and then became psychotic. “Prior to his first trial, his condition deteriorated, he couldn’t rationally discuss his case.”

An attempt by Munkelt to have McIntosh ruled not competent to stand trial was denied by Nevada County Superior Court Judge Carl Bryan.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been angrier at a decision,” Munkelt said.

During the trial, the victim testified he first began talking to McIntosh when he was 17, detailing his phone calls with the person he thought was a woman named Susan.

The day of the assault, he said, he agreed to meet “Susan” in person at his work in Grass Valley to provide her with counseling help. Instead, McIntosh showed up with a knife, a gun and a rope.

A physician testified the 19-year-old victim was “within minutes” of dying from strangulation at the end of a brutal attack that lasted more than two hours.

The jury found McIntosh guilty of attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon, forced oral copulation, attempted sodomy and false imprisonment by violence.

He was sentenced to life plus 27 years, but the conviction was overturned in 1992 after a successful appeal on the basis that not enough consideration was given to his mental ability to stand trial.

McIntosh was again found mentally competent to stand trial, and was again found guilty in 1993. He was sentenced to life plus 25 years, according to The Union’s archives.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

Grass Valley Police Sgt. Greg Hart, left, and Detective Dave Remillard, right, take Michael McIntosh into custody in this May 18, 1990, archive photo.

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