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Cousin Accused of Luring Girl, 10, Off Hiking Trail Before Sex Assault and Killing Will Be Tried as Adult

A judge denied the defendant's request to move the trial to juvenile court

Chippewa Falls Police Department Lily Peters
Chippewa Falls Police Department Lily Peters

Content warning: The following article contains disturbing descriptions

• Police allege that a 14-year-old boy confessed in 2022 to luring Lily Peters into the woods before strangling and sexually assaulting her, per reports

• The trial for the defendant, who will turn 16 in March, will remain in adult court, a judge said

• On April 24, 2022, Lili Peters was reported missing by her father after she failed to return home from a visit to her aunt's house

A 15-year-old boy who has been charged with murder in connection with the death and sexual assault of his 10-year-old cousin will be tried in adult court, a Wisconsin judge has said, according to multiple reports. 

In April 2022, Lily Peters was strangled and sexually assaulted after going missing. Her cousin, then 14, would soon confess to the crimes, authorities alleged at the time.

The suspect, who has not been publicly named because of his age, was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree sexual assault and first-degree sexual assault of a child under age 13 with resulting great bodily harm.

Lawyers for the suspect had tried to move his case to a juvenile court, but a judge ruled this week that it should remain in adult court, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, KARE 11 and WBAY reported, citing court documents.

Related: Suspect in Lily Peters' Killing Is 14-Year-Old Boy Who Allegedly Strangled, Sexually Assaulted Her

On April 24, 2022, Peters was reported missing by her father after she failed to return home from a visit to her aunt's house, PEOPLE reported at the time, citing a criminal complaint. Her body was found the next day in the woods.

Related: Teen Allegedly Lured Lily Peters off Trail with Intent to Sexually Assault and Kill Her: Complaint

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The teen allegedly confessed to detectives he convinced Lily to veer off the trail, where he proceeded to punch her in the stomach, knocking her to the ground, the criminal complaint claims.

While the victim was on the ground, the suspect allegedly hit her on the head multiple times with a large stick, before strangling her "until he believed the victim was deceased."

The complaint goes on to describe the horrific details of the victim's sexual assault that followed, after which the teen suspect allegedly "became scared" and fled back home to take a shower.

After hearing the news that Lily was reported missing, the suspect allegedly returned to her body, dragged "her a few feet, and covered her with leaves," the complaint claims.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

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Read the original article on People.