Authorities in Wisconsin believe the not yet named 14-year-old male defendant who allegedly sexually assaulted and murdered 10-year-old Iliana “Lily” M. Peters planned to do exactly that from the beginning.
“The statements that the defendant made to law enforcement, that his intention was to rape and kill the victim from the get go, when he left the house with the victim going down the trail, the state believes there’s a need to protect the community,” Chippewa County District attorney Wade Newell told a judge on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
The prosecutor said the defendant made “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.”
The defendant, an eighth grader referred who was referred to in court as “CPB,” faces one charge each of intentional homicide in the first degree, sexual assault in the first degree, and sexual assault of a child under 13 causing great bodily harm in the first degree.
“The suspect was not a stranger, the suspect was known to the victim,” Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm said during a press conference on Tuesday evening–refusing to elaborate.
He was arrested on Tuesday and is currently being held on $1 million cash bond–the amount requested by the state. The defense had requested $100,000 bond by arguing the boy was not a flight risk.
“He cannot drive,” defense attorney Karl Schmidt said. “He is not in a position to raise much money, frankly, at all on his own. He resides with his mother. He is a lifetime resident of Chippewa County.”
Circuit Court Judge Benjamin J. Lane also ruled that the defendant be barred from visiting his siblings alone if they come to visit him in pre-trial detention. Any such visits must be supervised by an adult.
By default, the case is currently before an adult court due to the intentional homicide charge–a function of Wisconsin state law. The defendant is currently being housed in a juvenile detention center. Newell said the boy’s defense attorneys will have to request a “reverse waiver” in order to try and move the case into juvenile court.
Peters was reported missing by her father at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 23, 2022. She failed to return home after visiting her aunt who lived blocks away. Her bicycle was found the next morning near a wooded trail. The victim’s body was discovered soon after that.
“She was supposed to be heading home to the 50 block of E. Birch St.,” police said after the search. “Officers and family checked the area and contacted family and friends, but she was not located.”
Details regarding physical evidence, however, are currently scarce.
The prosecution also did not go into Peters’ exact cause of death.
Newell said that authorities had received in excess of 200 tips since the girl was first reported missing and that those tips were instrumental in the case’s development. He also said that police had effectuated a search warrant at a house where the girl’s aunt lives.
[image via Chippewa Falls Police Department]
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