Iowa teenager who killed rapist escapes from probation
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Authorities in Iowa say an 18-year-old sex trafficking victim who pleaded guilty to killing a man she said raped her has escaped from a women’s center where she was serving probation.
Pieper Lewis was seen leaving the building at the Fresh Start Women’s Center in Des Moines shortly after 6:15 a.m. Friday, and at some point that day her GPS monitor was turned off, according to a probation violation report.
A warrant was issued for Lewis’ arrest and a probation report asked that her deferred adjudication be revoked and her original sentence be imposed, KCCI registered. She could face up to 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors called the suspended sentence she received in September merciful for a teenager who suffered horrific abuse, although some questioned the $150,000 in restitution she was ordered to pay. GoFundMe campaign raised over $560,000 to cover restitution and pay for her other needs.
Polk County Judge David Porter told Lewis that her probation “was the second chance you asked for. You don’t get a third,” Des Moines Register registered.
Had Lewis successfully completed five years of supervised probation, her prison sentence would have been expunged.
Lewis pleaded guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter and malicious wounding in the June 2020 slaying of 37-year-old Zachary Brooks, a married father of two. Lewis was 15 when she stabbed Brooks more than 30 times in a Des Moines apartment.
Lewis said she was sold against her will to Brooks for sex multiple times and stabbed him in a fit of rage. Police and prosecutors have not disputed that Lewis was sexually abused and trafficked.
The Associated Press doesn’t usually name sexual assault victims, but Lewis has agreed to have her name used in stories about her case before.
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