LIHUE — The defense team for the former Boys & Girls Club volunteer charged with sexually assaulting two underage girls is questioning whether the man was criminally responsible for his actions at the time of the alleged crimes.
Defense Attorney Emmanuel Guerrero Wednesday told Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe he believed that 49-year-old Eirik Stevens could not appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct at the point of time referring to an incident involving a 7-year-old girl he is alleged to have lured into his home.
Guerrero requested that the court grant him 70 days to have his client examined by a panel of three doctors to determine his client’s fitness and capacity for penal responsibility.
In a fitness examination, a doctor would determine Steven’s current cognitive capacity and state of mind.
The Lihue man is charged with two counts of first-degree sex assault and two counts of attempted third-degree sex assault in two separate cases.
Under a new bill signed into law Friday by Gov. David Ige, the exam for fitness to proceed and penal responsibility would have to be conducted separately instead of together, as combining the two raises legal and ethical concerns, according to Senate Bill 2888.
Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar said the new law would not affect the way his office handles these types of cases.
All court proceedings are at a standstill until the panel determines Stevens’ fitness and capacity for penal responsibility.
The three doctors who will conduct the exam will be Dr. Gerald McKenna, Dr. Dianne Gerard and the Hawaii Department of Health state designate.
Watanabe requested that Stevens’ medical records be provided to the court to help doctors conduct the exams under no objections from either the state or Stevens.
Stevens, a former Boys & Girls Club of Lihue volunteer, was arrested on April 5 by police without incident and interviewed by detectives where he is said to have confessed to having assaulted a young girl he met through the Boys & Girls Club, according to police records.
Stevens is scheduled to return to court on Sept. 20 for the status of the three-panel examination.