It's been over five years since Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier lured Payton Leutner into the Waukesha, Wisconsin woods due to their belief that it would please Slender Man, the fictional internet creation. During that period, Leutner had remained silent regarding what transpired on May 31, 2014, but now the 17-year-old has decided to tell her story in a new interview.

In recounting events leading up to the attack, Leutner discussed how she had befriended Geyser in fourth grade due to the fact that she noticed the girl had struggled to make friends.

However, Geyser eventually met Weier in sixth grade, which is, Leutner told ABC's "20/20," when "everything went downhill." According to Leutner, it was around that time that Geyser began talking about Slender Man. Even though she said she found it odd and a bit frightening, she went along with it because she "thought that's what she liked." 

Ultimately, the fascination with the fictional character culminated in the violence that occurred at Geyser's 12th birthday party. That following morning, the three girls went into the woods beside a local park to play hide-and-seek. There, Leutner was told to lie on the ground and cover herself in sticks and leaves. At that point, Geyser repeatedly stabbed Leutner 19 times.

Following the attack, the young girl managed to make her way to the end of a road, which is where a bicyclist found her and alerted the police. The two girls were eventually apprehended and immediately confessed to carrying out the crime. "It was a little shocking to me to see that they had this big, huge plan that they had been working on," Leutner stated.

The recovery process, she remembers, was difficult for a variety of reasons. Once she eventually returned home, she would sleep in bed with her mother so she wouldn't be alone. She also said she still sleeps with scissors by her bed "just in case." Additionally, she stated that she has found it difficult to trust others after what happened. 

She then shared that she doesn't place any blame on Geyser's mother, Angie Geyser, due to the fact that her daughter was diagnosed with early-onset schizophrenia in 2016 while in custody. 

Both Geyser and Weier were eventually charged in adult court with first-degree attempted intentional homicide. Weier pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was found to be mentally competent in 2017.

Geyser also pleaded guilty to the first-degree charges she faced in 2018, which was part of a plea deal with prosecutors, but her verdict differed from Weier's in that she was convicted but not found guilty by reason of mental defect or disease. Weier was sentenced to 25 years in a mental health institution, while Geyser was sentenced to 40. At this time Geyser is eligible to petition the court for release, but it remains unclear if she will do so.

As for Leutner and how she plans to move forward, she said she is grateful for what happened because she has a clearer vision for her life now. After graduating high school, she plans to begin college in the fall of 2020, ideally pursuing a career in the medical field. She now wants to put all of that in the past and live her life "normally." 

"We've seen her go from a victim to a survivor," Leutner family spokesperson Steve Lyons of SJL Government Affairs and Communications said, adding, "She's got so much to live for and I can't wait to see what the next chapter of her life is."

Leutner's new "20/20" interview with David Muir will air Friday, Oct. 25 at 9 p.m. EDT on ABC.

Slenderman Yasmin Ouard poses as Slender Man from the series "Mobile Hornets" ahead of the MCM London Comic Con Expo at ExCel in London, United Kingdom, Oct. 26, 2012. Photo: Getty Images