Merritt is already serving a prison term after a similar conviction in Davie County. The two sentences will be served concurrently meaning the original term will be extended by eight years. The Catawba County investigation began by Claremont Police in 2015. Evidence revealed that Merritt and a female co-defendant used Benadryl to drug a then-10-year-old female victim and touch her inappropriately. Merritt also admitted that he engaged in oral sex with the child. The events occurred on three occasions in September 2010.
The female co-defendant who has not been named has yet to be tried.