San Francisco

Man Accused of Trying to Kidnap Girl in SF Appears in Court

A 27-year old accused of trying to kidnap and rape a 13-year-old girl in San Francisco last week made his first appearance in court Monday.

Lee Mason Eigl of San Francisco is charged with six felonies, including kidnapping and forcible lewd acts upon a child. Eigl's LinkedIn page describes him as a design engineer for a Redwood City firm who graduated from Galileo High School and attended San Diego State University.

On Monday, Eigl's lawyer asked for a continuance until next week and told reporters after the brief hearing Eigl would be pleading not guilty.

The incident occurred last Wednesday and shook San Francisco’s West Portal neighborhood. Witnesses say a man in a black Volkswagen Passat grabbed a 13-year-old girl as she was walking home from school and forced her into his car. Two young men are being credited with rushing to her rescue, reportedly pulling the struggling girl from the suspect's car.

Within hours, police had traced the car to Eigl.

Defense attorney Megan Burns would not comment on remarks from Eigl's mother, who said she thought he was drunk and stoned.

Eigl’s mother Gail was in court with a man the District Attorney's Office identified as his father. The couple left without talking to reporters, but the San Francisco Chronicle reported that she told them her son was probably not mentally healthy.

Prosecutors were asked about how they suspected that Eigl intended to commit a lewd act with the girl, but they would not say.

"Unfortunately, we can’t get into any statements at this time, but all of that will come out as the court process proceeds," DA spokesman Alex Bastian said.

One of the young men who came to the girl's aid also declined to comment for fear of compromising the case before it goes to trial.

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