Man charged with kidnapping 13-year-old girl makes 1st court appearance

The man accused of kidnapping a 13-year-old girl in San Francisco's West Portal neighborhood made his first court appearance today.

27-year-old Lee Eigl is charged with six felonies, including the kidnapping charge, assault with intent to commit rape against a minor, two counts of lewd acts, robbery and criminal threats.

His attorney Megan Burns, a former SF public defender who now works at the law firm Bonjour, Thorman, Burns, Dahm & Wargo, said her client intends to enter a not guilty plea at his next court date.

Eigl glanced briefly and acknowledged his parents who came to support him in court today. He wore orange sweatpants, an orange sweatshirt and flip flops and politely addressed Judge Christopher Hite.

Jeff Ross is the lead prosecutor on the case, who is also the managing attorney for the city's CASA unit, or Child Assault and Sexual Assault unit. Ross asked that the judge set no bail for Eigl, citing his danger to the community, and the fact that he "terrorized" the West Portal neighborhood last week. The judge agreed to uphold no bail until further reviewing the case.

"We believe that there is more information that will come to light," said Burns. "It's important for the public to know that Lee is a lifetime San Francisco resident with zero criminal record of any kind."

Eigl's attorney says her client will enter a not guilty plea next week.

He is accused of dragging a 13-year-old girl into his car on Forest Side Avenue near Taraval Street last Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Witnesses say they heard the victim screaming and ran to pull her out of Eigl's car.

"The charges are very serious and the concern we have is very real," said Alex Bastian, a spokesperson for the SF DA's office. "There was a 13 year old victim in this case. We're going to do everything we can to protect the community and protect the children of our city."

Eigl's parents ducked into the courtroom without talking to reporters.

Eigl's mother Gail was vocal last week when asked by media about her son's arrest. She said that was shocked and that Eigl was "probably not mentally healthy."

"He said he was drinking a little bit and smoking marijuana... and out of it," said Gail Eigl.

Lee Eigl could face anywhere from seven years to life in prison.

"Obviously he's very scared, and he understands that these allegations are very serious but he has presented himself like a normal young man in his 20s to me," said Burns.

Sources close to the investigation tell KTVU that Eigl confessed the kidnapping to police.

"I would just ask the public reserve judgment in this case and recognize that all defendants are presumed innocent," said Burns.

Eigl's next court date is set for April 5.