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15-year-old to be tried as adult in sexual assault, slaying of girl, 10

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (AP) — The case of a 15-year-old Wisconsin boy accused of killing a 10-year-old girl after luring her into woods will remain in adult court, a judge has ruled.

Chippewa County Judge Steven Gibbs, in a 22-page decision issued Monday, sided with the state in ruling that court proceedings in the slaying of 10-year-old Iliana “Lily” Peters will remain in adult court, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Gibbs recently heard arguments from lawyers representing the suspect who sought to have the case moved to juvenile court. They argued the teen would receive better treatment in the juvenile system.

The teen, listed in court documents as C.P.-B., is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree sexual assault in the girl’s April 24, 2022, death.

In his decision, Gibbs agreed with prosecutors that moving the case to the juvenile system would diminish the severity of the act.

“The court disagrees that a possible 10-year confinement in the juvenile system, registering as a sex offender and that the Defendant would be vulnerable to the adult system would be punishment enough for the Defendant,” the judge wrote.

The teen allegedly persuaded the girl to leave a trail and explore the surrounding woods as she was riding her bike home from her aunt’s house in Chippewa Falls. Searchers found her body the next morning.

The boy told investigators that after they left the trail, he punched her, hit her with a heavy stick and strangled her until she died, then sexually assaulted her body, according to a criminal complaint.

Anyone who is at least 10 years old and is accused of first- or second-degree homicide is considered an adult in Wisconsin’s court system.