MONTREAL—A 13-year-old boy from Repentigny is in custody at a youth detention centre, accused of brutally assaulting a neighbour of the same age and attempting to kill her in the basement of his home.

The boy appeared at a Joliette courthouse with his parents on Friday, facing charges of attempted murder, armed sexual assault, mutilation and confinement. The young girl is recovering, having been stabbed numerous times and suffering from several injuries, including a punctured lung.

“The boy’s parents are devastated,” said defence lawyer Manon Deschenes.

According to police, the incident began Thursday at 5 p.m. in the suburb east of Montreal, when the girl was supposed to come home from school, but instead was lured to the basement of a bungalow on the same street.

“Last evening, her mother was looking for her, waiting for her at the bus, but she didn’t arrive,” said Pierre Gagnon, the principal of Jean-Baptiste Meilleur Schoool.

The girl’s parents called police at 6:30 p.m. and a search began immediately. While her parents were out looking for her, the girl turned up at home at 9 p.m., bloody and covered with cuts.

"She sustained injuries that needed medical attention so she was sent to the hospital," said Bruno Marier of Repentigny police. "Before leaving she was able to give us enough information that we were able to arrest a suspect that was living nearby."

The boy was not known to police and has no history of mental illness, although his lawyer will request a full psychiatric evaluation. Psychologists will be invited to the girl's school to help classmates cope with the shocking news.

The girl is in serious but stable condition at Ste-Justine Hospital.

The local school board, the Commission Scolaire des Affluents, confirmed to CTV that the boy does not go to any of their high schools in the area.

The boy pleaded not guilty and was remanded into custody. According to crown prosecutor Alexis Belanger, the boy will be tried in youth court and if convicted, could see up to three years of youth detention.

His next court appearance is on Dec. 11, 2012.

UPDATE: On Dec. 11 the boy was also charged with aggravated sexual assault.