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Monday, September 19, 2022

17-Year Old Black Teen Ordered to Pay $150K to the Family of Man Who She Says Raped Her

Pieper Lewis

Nationwide — Pieper Lewis, a Black teen from Des Moines, Iowa who killed her accused rapist in 2020, was recently sentenced to pay $150,000 in restitution to his family. A GoFundMe campaign created for Lewis has so far raised over $550,000.

In 2020, Lewis was 15 years old when she killed 37-year-old Zachary Brooks after stabbing him more than 30 times. At that time, she was a runaway who slept in the hallways of an apartment building and was pimped out to several men, including Brooks.

Lewis said Brooks raped him multiple times before she grabbed a knife from a bedside table and stabbed him. However, prosecutors claimed that she attacked Brooks while he was asleep and posed no immediate threat to Lewis.

Lewis, who is now 17 years old, was initially charged with first-degree murder in the killing. Last year, she agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges of manslaughter and willful injury, which could have led to a 10-year sentence each.

Most recently, an Iowa judge instead sentenced her to 5 years of supervised probation, which could result in 20 years imprisonment if violated. She was also required to wear a GPS device and to serve 200 hours of community service.

Lewis was also ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to Brooks’ family, citing that “this court is presented with no other option,” according to the Associated Press. The state of Iowa, unlike many other states in the US, does not have safe-harbor laws that give trafficking victims a certain level of criminal immunity.

Meanwhile, over the 2 years that Lewis was in juvenile detention, she has earned her GED.

“My spirit has been burned, but still glows through the flames,” Lewis read from a prepared statement during the hearing. “Hear me roar, see me glow, and watch me grow. I am a survivor.”

Leland Schipper, Lewis’ former math teacher who launched the GoFundMe campaign for her, said that the extra funds from the donations will help Lewis pursue a college degree or start her own business.

“Pieper wants to go to college, she wants to create art, and she wants to advocate for other girls who find themselves in situations like she endured,” Schipper wrote in the GoFundMe description. “She does not deserve a massive debt looming over her, holding her back from pursuing her ambitions.”




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