ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A 60-year-old man is accused of unzipping the pants of a 7-year-old boy after luring him into his apartment by promising him a go-kart, according to charges filed Wednesday by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.
Elijah Lewis Caliph of St. Paul was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with the incident, which happened Monday.
According to the complaint, St. Paul Police were called to the 400 block of North Luella Street on Monday after a witness reported that a neighbor had tried to remove a boy’s pants. When authorities arrived, they spoke to the victim, an 11-year-old boy who told them he had just gotten off the school bus and was waiting for his older brother to let him in an apartment building.
A black male, later identified as Caliph, opened the door for the boy and asked him “Do you want a go-kart?” the complaint states. The victim said he did and followed the man to his apartment. When they entered the apartment, Caliph turned and started to unzip the boy’s pants, according to the complaint.
The boy pushed Caliph away and ran from the apartment. He was able to get away before Caliph completely unbuttoned and unzipped his pants.
Police learned that there was also a young autistic boy inside the apartment at the time of the incident, according to the complaint.
Caliph denied to police that he ever offered the boy a go-kart or any other gift. He also told police that several people had been in his apartment for a party and they hid in a closet when police arrived.
Police later questioned Caliph again after identifying him on surveillance video. He told police he had no recollection of the boy and that the boy was never in his apartment, the complaint states.
Court documents show that Caliph has a past with criminal sexual conduct. He was charged with rape, deviate sexual assault and indecent liberties with a child from Illinois back in 1980. He received a six year prison sentence on charges related to that incident.
If convicted on the current charges, he faces more than 12 years in prison and a fine of more than $17,000.