A 14-year-old Puyallup boy was charged on Tuesday with first-degree attempted murder, rape, rape of a child and kidnapping in connection with an attack on his 7-year-old neighbor last week that left the girl hospitalized.
Prosecutors additionally said they will seek to have the boy prosecuted as an adult.
“Rarely do we ask the court to treat a 14-year-old offender as an adult, but this is one of those few cases where the severity of the offense and the safety of our community call out for adult-sized accountability,” said Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist.
If convicted as a juvenile, the boy would face a maximum sentence of 6 1/2 years in a juvenile detention facility. If convicted as an adult, he could face a standard sentence of 30 years or more, prosecutors said.
At his arraignment in Pierce County Juvenile Court on Tuesday, the teen pleaded not guilty to all charges. The Seattle Times is not naming the teen because he is charged as a juvenile at this time. A hearing to determine whether he should be prosecuted as an adult has been set for July 30.
According to the charging documents, the teen is alleged to have lured a neighbor girl into the woods behind their apartment complex in the 700 block of 43rd Avenue Southeast on the evening of July 10. There, he brutally beat her, sexually assaulted her and choked into unconsciousness, prosecutors allege.
When police, with the help of neighbors and a bloodhound, found the girl several hours later, she had to be carried out of the woods, police said. Her neck wounds required surgical repair and a medical exam showed “clear signs” of sexual assault, according to prosecutors.
The girl was able to identify her alleged attacker by his first name and point out the building he lived in, prosecutors said.
When a search warrant was served on the suspect’s home early the next morning, bloody clothes were found in a bag, prosecutors allege.
Police and prosecutors say that the boy initially denied harming the girl, but later admitted to taking her into the woods. The teen allegedly told police that he lured the girl into the woods then became “annoyed” at her, flew into a rage and beat her, according to the documents.
The teen allegedly told police he knew he “had to get rid of her so she couldn’t tell anyone,” so he dragged her farther into the woods and choked her until she passed out, prosecutors say in charging documents.