Rick Wood, Associated Press
Circuit Judge Michael Bohren presides over the second day of a preliminary hearing in Waukesha, Wis., for two Wisconsin girls accused of stabbing their classmate to please horror character Slender Man.

WAUKESHA, Wis. — A judge on Friday refused to reduce the $500,000 bond set for two Wisconsin girls accused of trying to kill their classmate in an attempt to please the fictional horror character Slender Man.

Judge Michael Bohren denied requests by the girls' attorneys to lower the bond amount. The judge cited their potential flight risk, noting both girls tried to run away after the 2014 attack, and the seriousness of the crime.

Both girls have been in custody for two years, and their families say they can't afford to post the high bond.

Authorities say the girls were 12 years old when they lured their classmate into the woods after a birthday sleepover and repeatedly stabbed her. The victim, who was also 12, was found along a road, bleeding from wounds that nearly killed her.

The Associated Press hasn't identified the defendants because their cases could move to juvenile court, where proceedings are closed. The girls are facing trial as adults, but that decision is under review.

Slender Man is described in fictional stories as an unnaturally tall, thin demon-like figure that lacks facial features. He is said to live in a mansion in a forest. Authorities say the girls hoped to live in that fictional home after the attack.

In arguing for his client's release, defense attorney Anthony Cotton said in court documents this week that his client's mental health has improved. The girl, now 13, has been diagnosed with early-onset schizophrenia, which is rare.

Cotton also said his client was sexually assaulted last year at the county detention center where she has been in custody. During a phone hearing Wednesday, the judge said he would consider the allegation but was concerned that it wasn't immediately reported. Prosecuting attorney Ted Szczupakiewicz said he hadn't heard of the allegation before the court filing.

Cotton's previous efforts to reduce his client's bond have failed. But this was the first time the other girl's attorney, Maura McMahon, had attempted to reduce her client's bond.

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