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"Slender Man" Case Tries Minor Defendants As Adults

Posted by Mara Spring | Aug 02, 2017 | 0 Comments

In June of the year 2014, the community of Waukesha was shaken by a case that is now infamous nationwide. Two young girls, in an effort to engage in a ritual to appease a fictional entity, lured one of their friends into the woods and stabbed the girl 19 times. The source material of the case stems from an online urban myth of "Slender Man," a character popular in online horror themed fan fiction. The girls were supposedly long time fans of this type of fiction and spent a great deal of time delving into various online literature regarding this character. According to the mythology behind the fictional entity, if a person seeks to enter the "realm" of Slender Man, they must kill someone. For Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, they planned out their victim and attacked. Fortunately, their victim lived, however, the two girls faced charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide once apprehended.

The "Slender Man" Case Goes To Court

Fast forward to present day, the two girls, who are now teenagers await their trial by jury in Waukesha County. The two minors faced charges as adults from the very start of their entry into the criminal justice system. The two girls will have their charges handled in separate trials, although they are linked. Anissa Weier will be the first of the two to have her trial, in September of this year. Morgan Geyser will be the second of the two to have her trial, and the trial is set to begin on October 2nd of this year. Both girls have pleaded "not guilty" in their respective cases on the defense of mental disease.

Criminal Acts As A Minor In Wisconsin

When a minor commits a criminal act in Wisconsin they are typically charged with a juvenile offense. For individuals in Wisconsin, adult charges begin at 17 years of age. In this case, however, Geyser and Weier are both set to move forward on adult charges for acts they committed at age 12. This is because for acts of homicide, an individual age 10 or older will start in adult court, and must be "reverse waived" into juvenile court. This can be a complex and difficult process, especially in a situation as dire as the one seen in the cases of Geyser and Weier.

Due to the serious nature of this case, the case two girls have inspired several discussions on where the line is between adult and minor charges, and whether or not a person at that age can really understand the consequences of their actions. Their cases will have their trials in fall of this year.

About the Author

Mara Spring

Mara Spring is a legal professional with nearly 20 years of experience that led her to her position today. Her legal career has brought her through several areas of practice, including criminal prosecution, business and transactional law, and family law practice. Mara also serves a mediator in le...


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