Prosecutor says teen planned rape and killing of Wisconsin girl


A 14-year-old boy in the US accused of killing a 10-year-old knew the girl and planned the attack, knocking her down and choking her before sexually assaulting her, a prosecutor said.

The body of Wisconsin girl Illiana “Lily” Peters was found on Monday (local time) along a walking trail just a day after she went missing while returning home from an aunt’s house a few blocks away, sparking anxiety in her small western community before the teenager’s arrest on Tuesday.

The boy, identified only by his initials, appeared in adult court in Chippewa County by video from a juvenile detention center.
Stuffed animals were left at the altar while a prayer vigil for 10 year-old Lily Peters took place at Valley Vineyard Church in Chippewa Falls, Wisc. Monday evening, April 25, 2022. Lilly Peters was found dead in a park earlier in the day after being reported missing the night before. ] JEFF WHEELER Jeff.Wheeler@startribune.com
Stuffed animals were left at the altar while a prayer vigil for 10 year-old Lily Peters took place at Valley Vineyard Church in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. (AP/Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune)

Judge Benjamin Lane agreed to District Attorney Wade Newell’s request for $1.4 million cash bond.

Mr Lane said the high bond was necessary to protect the community given the teen’s “statements regarding his intentions and his statements regarding that when he did get off the trail, he punched the victim in the stomach, knocked her to the ground, essentially strangled her, hit her with a stick, before strangling her to the point of death — before he then sexually assaulted her,” Mr Newell told the judge at the bond hearing.

The teen made statements “that his intention was to rape and kill the victim from the get-go,” Mr Newell said.

A memorial for 10 year-old Lily Peters on Jefferson Ave. Monday evening, April 25, 2022 in Chippewa Falls, Wisc. Lilly Peters was found dead in a park earlier in the day after being reported missing the night before. ] JEFF WHEELER Jeff.Wheeler@startribune.com
A memorial for 10 year-old Lily Peters. (AP/Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune)

The defense had argued for a $140,380 cash bond.

Wisconsin girl Illiana "Lily" Peters.
Wisconsin girl Illiana “Lily” Peters. (Chippewa Falls Police Department)

The judge sealed the criminal complaint, but Mr Newell said after the hearing that the boy is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree sexual assault and first-degree sexual assault of a child under age 13 resulting in great bodily harm.

Wisconsin law generally calls for juveniles age 10 and up to be prosecuted as adults when they are charged with first-degree intentional homicide.

The judge set a May 5 status hearing in the case.

Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm announced the arrest of the suspect on Tuesday evening, after police earlier executed a search warrant at the home of Lily’s aunt and the last place the girl was seen before she disappeared.

Mr Kelm said police got more than 200 tips, calling them “critical” to the investigation.

“While nothing will bring Lily Peters back or change what happened, we are very grateful to be able to deliver this news for the family and for the community,” Kelm said.

Relatives of Lily Peters comforted each other and prayed together at a vigil for the 10 year-old girl at Valley Vineyard Church in Chippewa Falls, Wisc. Monday evening, April 25, 2022. Lilly Peters was found dead in a park earlier in the day after being reported missing the night before. ] JEFF WHEELER Jeff.Wheeler@startribune.com
Relatives of Lily Peters comforted each other and prayed together at a vigil for the 10 year-old girl at Valley Vineyard Church in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. (AP/Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune)

People in the town of about 13,000 left drawings, flowers, candles and stuffed animals at Lily’s elementary school and on a downtown bridge to remember the girl, with some residents dressing in purple to honor her.

Chelsea Torgerson said she kept her daughter home from school on Tuesday, before the arrest was announced, “just for my own peace of mind.”

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“I know these things happen in the world every day, but this is just so close,” she told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Chippewa Falls is about 161 kilometres east of the Twin Cities.

Read the full article at: 9news.com.au


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