Steilacoom, WA – A 14-year-old high school student repeatedly struck one of his female peers in the head with a hammer as part of his plot to kidnap and rape her, according to court documents.
Now, state law prevents prosecutors from charging him as an adult, which could see the offender released in a few years, if convicted.
Juvenile sentences are much shorter than adult sentences and juveniles only need to serve time for their most serious charge, effectively making the rest of their crimes "freebies."
Prosecutors said he’d been preparing for the attack for quite some time, including researching “what happens when you hit someone in the head with a hammer,” KIRO reported.
The victim was one of four potential targets he identified during his planning phase.
Prior to the March 19 attack, the 14-year-old boy placed duct tape on the locks of the Steilacoom High School auditorium so that they would not engage, according to court documents.
He then took a forged note to the girl’s classroom, claiming that she needed to report to the school counselor’s office.
The suspect led the girl to the auditorium, where he distracted her using a cell phone with a fake mental health assessment, KPCQ reported.
He then repeatedly struck the unsuspecting victim with a hammer, police said.
The teen later allegedly admitted to police that he planned to kidnap her.
“He wanted to knock her out so that he could rape her and was surprised that she was still conscious” after he repeatedly bashed her in the head, court documents read, according to KIRO.
He also allegedly told detectives that he’d brought additional weapons with him in his backpack, including a protractor with razor blades attached to it, KPCQ reported.
According to court documents, the girl begged her attacker not to kill her, and ultimately managed to escape.
She then called for help, and the high school was placed on lockdown.
Police ultimately convinced the suspect to put down his weapon, and placed him under arrest.
The teen has been charged with kidnapping, assault, and attempted first-degree murder, and is being held at a juvenile detention center.
Prosecutors are unable to charge him as an adult in this case due to a recent law change, a Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson told KPCQ.
In a letter to parents and guardians, school officials said that the “traumatic” assault had a “devastating impact” on the school community, and that they are reviewing “all on-campus safety procedures to ensure that nothing like this happens again.”
The victim has since returned to school, KPCQ reported.