Police: Suspect used snacks to lure children to apartment

LIHUE — The Lihue man accused of sexually assaulting two underage girls used pretzels, snacks and candy to lure one of them into his apartment, according to police records.

Eirik James Stevens, 49, was arraigned Friday in Fifth Circuit Court before District Judge Joseph Kobayashi. He pleaded not guilty. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. April 12 before District Judge Trudy Senda.

Stevens is charged with one count of first-degree sexual assault, one count of attempted sexual assault in the third degree and one count of sexual assault in the third degree, according to an amended complaint filed early Friday morning by prosecutors.

On March 30, the mother of one of the victims received a call from Wilcox Elementary School and the Boys and Girls Club of Lihue informing her that a man who lived at her apartment complex was giving treats to her 7-year-old daughter and asking her daughter to come into his apartment, according to KPD reports.

Police said Stevens lured the 7-year-old on March 21, with treats, such as bags of chips, Hi-chew candy, barbecue flavor pretzel bites, and other snacks.

Stevens, who was a volunteer at the BGC, is alleged to have made the 7-year-old lie on her back while he removed her clothing and grabbed a bottle of coconut oil, according to KPD reports.

Police said Stevens attempted to invite the 7-year-old to his apartment on recent occasions before his arrest and after the alleged incident.

One neighbor, who has four children of his own, told police that Stevens often entertained other children in his apartment and that “he would give the neighborhood children Kool-Aid drinks and snacks,” reports said.

The same neighbor thought “the situation was really weird” because “Stevens really likes children” and that “children would visit with him and sit on his lap and play with his little iPad type devices,” reports said.

Another neighbor said she found it odd that Stevens “would purchase snacks and Kool-aid to give to the neighborhood children, as he was very health conscious,” according to police reports.

He is also alleged to have attempted to sexually assault another girl, this time an 8-year-old girl Stevens knew from the “Go Green” gardening activities at the BGC where he helped in tending the Mayor’s Garden close to the vicinity of BGC, according to police.

Stevens was arrested on Tuesday without incident and interviewed at the Lihue police station, according to KPD.

During the interview, Stevens confessed to the alleged coconut oil incident with the 7-year-old, but said it had occurred consensually, reports said.

Stevens also told police he has had other children enter his apartment to watch cartoons and would give them snacks, according to KPD records.

Stevens is being held at the Kauai Community Correctional Center in Wailua. Bail is set at $250,000.

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