A US judge has handed the maximum sentence of 40 years in a mental hospital to a 15-year-old girl who previously pleaded guilty to luring a classmate into a suburban park before stabbing her multiple times in an act that was aimed at pleasing the fictional internet character Slender Man.
Morgan Geyser and another girl, Anissa Weier, lured classmate Peyton Leutner, to a park in urban Milwaukee in 2014, when all three girls were aged just 12-years-old. There, Geyser stabbed Leutner 19 times in an act designed to appease Slender Man. Leutner survived the attack and crawled out of the secluded woodland area, before being found by a passing cyclist.
Slender Man, as you’re all probably aware, is a fictional online spectre that prompted a fervent body of fan fiction, leading to a cult-like following from some who believed the figure was associated with children disappearing or going crazy.
Attorneys for Geyser appealed to the US judge to commit her to a less restrictive facility that would allow for some supervised outings. This followed an accepted plea of guilty entered last year on a count of attempted first-degree homicide, with prosecutors accepting the defence’s assertion that she was not criminally liable for her actions due to mental impairment.
Prosecutors, however, pushed for the maximum available punishment to be handed to Geyser, stating that she remained a danger to herself and others.
Judge Michael Bohren agreed, stating that “what we can’t forget is this was an attempted murder,” before handing a reportedly tearful Geyser the maximum sentence of 40 years in a mental hospital.
Geyser’s accomplice, Anissa Weier, also pleaded guilty on the grounds of mental impairment, and was sentenced to 25 years in a mental health facility last December.