One of two young girls who tried to murder their classmate to win the favour of the fictional character Slender Man has been sentenced to 25 years in a psychiatric facility.
16-year-old Anissa Weier (pictured left) was handed down the maximum punishment on Thursday after pleading guilty to being a party to attempted second-degree intentional homicide in August.
The young girl claimed she wasn’t responsible for her actions because she was mentally ill and in September a jury agreed.
Waukesha County Circuit Judge, Michael Bohren, sentenced Weier to 25 years in a psychiatric institution, retroactive to the date of the crime – she’ll be institutionalised until the age of 37.
Weier along with Morgan Geyser, lured Payton Leutner into a wooded park in Waukesha, a Milwaukee suburb, in 2014.
Geyser stabbed Leutner 19 times while Weier urged her on, according to investigators.
Leutner survived after she crawled out of the woods to a path where a passing bicyclist found her, reports NBC.
Both Weier and Geyser told detectives they felt they had to kill Leutner to become Slender Man’s ‘proxies’, or servants and to protect their families from him.
All three girls were 12 years old at the time.
Weier apologised in brief comments before her sentencing:
I do hold myself accountable for this and that I will do whatever I have to do to make sure I don’t get any sort of delusion or whatever again.
I want everybody involved to know I deeply regret everything that happened that day.
I know that nothing I say is going to make this right and nothing I say is going to fix what I broke.
Leutner’s mother, Stacie Leutner, sent the judge a letter this week in which she wrote how the trauma of the attack ‘has defined our lives’ and that her daughter still fears for her life.
According to her mother’s letter, Payton slept with scissors under her pillow for protection for months after the attack and still keeps her bedroom windows closed and locked.
The letter continues:
She will struggle with the events of that day and physical and emotional scars it left for the rest of her life. Payton has a lifetime of healing ahead of her and she deserves to be allowed to heal in an environment where she feels safe.
In her letter, Leutner didn’t ask the judge to sentence Weier to a specific length of time in the mental hospital, but she said her daughter wouldn’t feel safe if either of her attackers is released back into the community, unsupervised.
Prosecutor Kevin Osborne argued for the maximum 25-year confinement, which the judge granted, citing ongoing concerns about her mental stability.
Considering the nature and gravity of this offence, being supervised until the age of 37 is not all that long … in terms of the fact that Payton is looking at a lifetime of scars, physical scars and psychological scarring.
Slender Man started with an online post in 2009, as a mysterious spectre whose image is edited into everyday scenes of children playing.
He’s typically depicted as a spidery figure in a black suit with a featureless white face.
He was regarded by his devotees as alternately, a sinister force and an avenging angel.