A trial date has been set for the Waukesha teen accused of sexually assaulting an 87-year-old woman

WAUKESHA - The now 15-year-old boy charged in the alleged sexual assault of an 87-year-old woman near the Waukesha Public Library in 2021 will stand trial beginning May 2.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow set the trial date Thursday following a long-awaited arraignment in which Khalil Perry, of Waukesha, again stood silent on a formal plea in the nearly 14-month-old case, prompting the court to enter not guilty pleas on his behalf.

That case has taken many legal twists and turns, starting in juvenile court in December 2021, moving to adult court in April 2022, facing an unsuccessful attempt to have it moved back to juvenile court in subsequent months and then stalling twice in adult court while Perry's attorney sought to have him declared mentally incompetent.

Perry's attorney, Nicole Ostrowski, has also twice requested that the case be assigned to a different judge, a request that was subsequently denied. (The juvenile case originally was under the jurisdiction of Judge Maria Lazar before Dorow took over the case in adult court following Lazar's ruling that the seriousness of the crimes warranted Perry be tried as an adult.)

He also may have a new attorney from the Waukesha County Public Defender's Office. Instead of Ostrowski, who according to court records would be unavailable through Feb. 1, Maura McMahon represented Perry in court this week. McMahon has reportedly offered to continue representing him, though it was unclear what, if any, impact that representation could have on the case.

Perry is accused of first-degree sexual assault with use of a dangerous weapon, armed robbery with use of force, operating a vehicle without the owner's consent and kidnapping, all involving an 87-year-old Waukesha woman who was held at knifepoint near the book return machine outside the city's public library, according to a criminal complaint.

The woman told investigators that Perry pulled a knife and held it to her throat, commandeered her car with her in the passenger seat and drove her to an apartment complex parking lot near the library, where he assaulted her, the complaint said. He then allegedly took her wallet and drove off in her car, which he was found driving shortly thereafter by police.

Thursday's arraignment was unusual in that Perry has been held in a secure juvenile detention center for more than 13 months. Arraignments in Wisconsin involve the formal presentation of charges against a defendant and usually occur within weeks of the filing of a criminal complaint.

The unusually slow process, and concerns from court officials and others about the age of the victim, prompted Deputy District Attorney Michael Thurston to renew a call for a speedy trial.

In response, Dorow scheduled a series of court dates leading up to the trial. A status conference will be held March 23 to review case details. A jury status hearing is set for April 27. The trial, currently scheduled to last three days, will begin at 8:30 a.m. May 2.

More:Waukesha's police chief was taken into questioning after bringing a loaded handgun to the Milwaukee airport

Contact Jim Riccioli at (262) 446-6635 or james.riccioli@jrn.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jariccioli.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Trial date set for Waukesha teen accused of assaulting elderly woman