The Sunset District man who allegedly attempted to abduct and rape a 13-year-old girl has pled not guilty, even though his attorney has said that the suspect will not request to be released on bail.
26-year-old Lee Mason Eigl, a graduate of SF's Galileo High School and San Diego State, was thrust into the public eye on March 23, after he allegedly attempted to drag the girl from a West Portal street and into his car "with intent to commit rape," the San Francisco Police Department said at the time.
Witnesses to the attack, which took place at 5 p.m., thwarted the kidnapping. Surveillance video led investigators to the Inner Sunset home of Gail Eigl, the mother of the suspect, that same day. She called her son, who reportedly still lived with her, and he was arrested near SF State as he left the home of a friend. Lee Eigl has been held without bail in San Francisco County Jail ever since.
“I have never seen him do anything like this,” Gail Eigl told reporters the day after the arrest, as officers searched their home at 10th Avenue and Lincoln Way “He has a loving girlfriend." That said, “The only thing I can think of is the Brock (Turner) case. I don’t want to be one of those parents, like, ‘Oh he’s such a special boy.’ Of course, I love him dearly and I hope that they’re wrong.”
It's unclear if those hopes have faded in the period between her son's arrest and his appearance in court Wednesday, during which Lee Eigl entered a plea of not guilty.
Speaking with ABC 7, Lee Eigl's attorney Megan Burns says that she "is looking at all aspects of the case including what [Eigl's] mental state was at the time of the incident."
A private attorney and former San Francisco deputy public defender, Burns appeared to choose her words most carefully when she spoke with ABC 7, saying "We recognize that this was a very scary incident for this young woman and her family and so there is not going to be a request for Mr. Eigl to be released from custody at any time in the near future."
It's a matter on which San Francisco District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Alex Bastian appears to agree. Speaking with the Ex, Bastian says that “We feel very strongly about making sure this particular defendant remains in custody."
"At this point there's no additional information as to any other victims but we are working with our law enforcement partners to determine whether there's anything additional that needs to be looked into," Bastian told ABC 7.
According to ABC 7, "investigators took boxes of evidence from Eigl's home after he was arrested" during their March search of the residence, and between that evidence and witness reports of the incident, prosecutors charged Eigl with "six felony counts including assault with intent to commit a felony on a minor, kidnapping with intent to commit a felony, lewd acts on a child, second-degree robbery and criminal threats," the Ex reports.
“I think he’s very scared, to be frank,” Burns told the Ex.
“He’s never been in this position before, he’s never been arrested for anything in his life, and he’s here on charges that are very serious and I don’t think that is lost on him or his family.”
According to the DA's office, Eigl's next appearance in court is scheduled for May 9.