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UPDATE: Here’s How You Can Help Iowa Teen Ordered to Pay $150,000 to Family of Rapist She Killed


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A judge ordered a 17-year-old sex trafficking victim to pay $150,000 restitution to her abuser’s family and serve five years of closely supervised probation.

Pieper Lewis stabbed her abuser, 37-year-old Zachary Brooks, over 30 times in June 2020.

Iowa Teen Trafficking Victim Ordered to Pay $150,000 Restitution to Family of Rapist She Killed

Fortunately, a GoFundMe account has raised the entire amount for her and more.

KCCI reported:

A GoFundMe page set up for an Iowa teen who killed her alleged rapist has raised a substantial amount of money less than 24 hours after her sentence was handed down.

A Polk County judge sentenced Pieper Lewis to five years probation on Tuesday and a deferred judgment.

The deferred judgment means this will be expunged from Lewis’ record. But Lewis was also ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to the family of Zachary Brooks.

According to Iowa law, any person who is convicted of causing the death of another person has to pay a minimum of $150,000 to the victim’s estate.

Lewis was 15 years old when she admitted she killed 37-year-old Brooks, who she said raped her.

Lewis was originally charged in 2020 for first-degree murder after stabbing Brooks in Des Moines.

Lewis said she was a victim of human trafficking and said Brooks raped her several times before she killed him.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the GoFundMe had raised over $240,000.

Two anonymous donors gave $5,000 each, which were the highest single donations.

According to Fox 5, the fundraiser was started by her former teacher.

A fundraiser on GoFundMe was organized for Lewis by her former teacher, Leland Schipper, after her sentencing. The original goal was set at $150,000, enough to pay off the restitution owed to Brooks’ family.

On the GoFundMe page, Schipper said the goal had been reached, in less than 24 hours. He raised the goal to $200,000.

Schipper said the money raised would be used to pay off the $150,000 owed to Brooks’ family, pay the $4,000 in restitution owed to the state, and the remainder of the money would be used to help Lewis pursue a college education or start her own business. Schipper also said some of the money would go toward helping other victims of sex crimes.

And from NPR:

Outrage, support and money flood Lewis’ GoFundMe
The GoFundMe page was launched by Leland Schipper, a former math teacher of Lewis, who described feeling “incredibly proud of her.”

“[T]he judge recognized that Pieper was a victim and a child. He, like almost everyone who knows the details of Pieper’s case, empathized with a girl with no violent history before or after this incident, who saw killing a man as the only way out of a truly horrific situation,” Schipper wrote in a message to would-be donors.

His words and those of Lewis, have moved tens of thousands of people who are pouring money into the account.

“My donation isn’t much , but it’s sent with LOVE,” wrote Michelle Randall, who gave $5.

A man named John Dore, gave $20 and added, “Some laws are bad laws and hurt people who shouldn’t be hurt any further. We made those laws and it’s up to us to fix them. I think you’ve been very brave. May your life be filled with peace, with love, and—especially—with justice.”

More than 26 people have donated between $1,000 to $5,000 since Lewis’s sentencing hearing.

Here’s a link to the GoFundMe page for Lewis.

If you missed the original article, I have all those details for you here:

Iowa Teen Trafficking Victim Ordered to Pay $150,000 Restitution to Family of Rapist She Killed

A 17-year-old sex trafficking victim who stabbed her rapist to death was sentenced by a judge on Tuesday to five years of closely supervised probation and must pay $150,000 restitution to her abuser’s family.

Pieper Lewis stabbed her abuser, 37-year-old Zachary Brooks, over 30 times in June 2020.

Lewis was initially charged with first-degree murder.

“Last year, Lewis pleaded to involuntary manslaughter and willful injury, both of which were punishable by up to 10 years in prison. However, Polk County District Judge David Porter deferred those prison sentences on Tuesday, meaning Lewis could serve 20 years if she violates her probation,” Fox News reported.

From Fox News:

Porter said he ordered Lewis to pay restitution to Brooks’ family because the court was “presented with no other option.” He explained that the restitution is mandatory under Iowa law.

Lewis, who was 15 when she stabbed Brooks in a Des Moines apartment, had run away from home to escape her abusive adoptive mother. She was sleeping in the halls of an apartment building when Christopher Brown, 28, took her in and began trafficking her to other men for sex, according to officials.

Among those men was Brooks, who Lewis said raped her multiple times before she killed him. She recalled being forced at knife point to go to his apartment for sex. After Brooks raped her for what would end up being the last time, Lewis grabbed a knife off a bedside table and stabbed him.

AP News added:

Iowa is not among the dozens of states that have a so-called safe harbor law that gives trafficking victims at least some level of criminal immunity.

Lewis, who earned her GED while being held in juvenile detention, acknowledged in a statement prior to her sentencing that she struggled with the structure of her detention, including “why I was treated like fragile glass” or wasn’t allowed to communicate with her friends or family.

“My spirit has been burned, but still glows through the flames,” she read from a statement she had prepared. “Hear me roar, see me glow, and watch me grow.”

“I am a survivor,” she added.

The Associated Press does not typically name victims of sexual assault, but Lewis agreed to have her name used previously in stories about her case.

Prosecutors took issue with Lewis calling herself a victim in the case and said she failed to take responsibility for stabbing Brooks and “leaving his kids without a father.”

The judge peppered Lewis with repeated requests to explain what poor choices she made that led up to Brooks’ stabbing and expressed concern that she sometimes did not want to follow rules set for her in juvenile lockup. 


 

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