Teenager ordered held in detention in attack on 7-year-old Puyallup girl

Staff writerJuly 12, 2013 

A 14-year-old boy accused of brutalizing a 7-year-old neighbor girl leaves juvenile court Friday. A court commissioner forbade the news media from showing the boy’s face.

ADAM LYNN — Staff writer

He grabbed her throat and squeezed until she stopped kicking and gasping for air, the teen said, "so she couldn't tell anyone."

Now a 14-year-old Puyallup boy suspected of dragging a 7-year-old girl into the woods, trying to rape her and then choking her unconscious is in Pierce County's Remann Hall juvenile detention center, facing a possible charge of attempted murder, among others.

Court Commissioner Craig Adams on Friday ordered the boy detained until Tuesday, when prosecutors intend to formally charge him. Charges under consideration include attempted second-degree murder, first-degree child rape and first-degree kidnapping with sexual motivation, court records show.

The boy was arrested early Thursday at an apartment complex in the 700 block of 43rd Avenue Southwest, the same complex that was the scene of a desperate search for the girl the night before. She remains hospitalized after surgery to repair some of her injuries, court records show.

The teen appeared in juvenile court for a brief hearing Friday, looking tired and dazed. His mother also attended but left court without speaking to reporters.

The News Tribune is not publishing the boy's name because he's being prosecuted as a juvenile. Deputy prosecutor Kevin Benton said outside court that his office would discuss whether to move the case to adult court.

It is not the boy's first brush with the law. He was arrested last year and charged with two counts of third-degree assault and one count of fourth-degree assault, court records state.

He allegedly went out of control after a family wedding, tried to hang himself, choked his younger brother, and kicked and hit two sheriff's deputies sent to investigate, court records show. He faced detention until he turned 21 but got a deferred disposition in March after he agreed to six months' probation, counseling and 20 hours of community service.

His latest troubles began Wednesday when the girl went missing while playing outside about 6 p.m., police said.

Relatives and friends searched for her for about two hours before calling police. Authorities led by a bloodhound found her about 10:30 p.m. in some nearby woods. She was bloodied, covered with dirt and barely able to speak, court records show.

"Police noted that her jeans were unbuttoned, unsnapped and partially pulled down in the back, " the records show. "Her underwear was on, and her socks were off."

The girl was in obvious pain but was able to tell detectives who had attacked her. She gave the boy's name and said he lived in the "N" building. Detectives served a search warrant on a unit in the building about 4:45 a.m. Thursday. The boy was in his bedroom and was arrested.

In one corner of his room police found a bag of clothes covered with what appeared to be blood and dirt, court records show.

The boy first told investigators, "I didn't do anything, " records state.

He later changed his story, saying he asked the girl whether she wanted to go into the woods to see a bird's nest, the records state. At one point, he said, the girl kicked him and he went into a rage, punching her in the face and knocking her to the ground.

When he saw her injuries, the boy said, he knew he was going to get into trouble.

The boy told police he knew he had "to get rid of her so she couldn't tell anyone, " the records state. It was then he allegedly grabbed her by the throat and choked her until she passed out. He then left.

The boy denied sexually assaulting the girl.

Prosecutors wrote in court documents that a doctor who examined the girl found evidence of sexual assault, and "forensic evidence was gathered from both the victim and the respondent."

"Further evaluation of that evidence is forthcoming, " they wrote.

The News Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service