Teenage human trafficking victim who killed her rapist ordered to pay $150,000

A teenage victim of human trafficking was sentenced on Tuesday to five years of closely supervised probation and ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to the family of the man who repeatedly raped her.

Pieper Lewis, 17, was originally charged with first-degree murder for killing Zachary Brooks, 37, in Des Moines, Iowa, in June 2020. She pleaded guilty the following year to manslaughter and intentional bodily harm , each charge carrying a ten-year sentence, reported the Associated Press (AP).

Her jail terms were deferred by Polk County District Judge David M. Porter, but with the stipulation that if she violates her probation, she could have to serve 20 years in prison.

In addition to her probation and fine, the judge ordered Lewis to perform 200 hours of community service each year for the next three years and be placed in a women’s center in De Moines, where she will have to wear a GPS tracking device. , the New York Times Noted.

Prior to her arrest, Lewis, then 15, ran away from home to escape her abusive mother, officials said via the AP.

At one point, she ended up sleeping in the hallways of an apartment building in Des Moines when she was abducted and trafficked by an unidentified 28-year-old man to be forced to have sex with her. other men – one of those men being Brooks, who raped her multiple times.

Lewis was held at knifepoint by the 28-year-old and forced to have sex with Brooks, where she said she was again raped.

After the sexual assault, Lewis grabbed a knife from beside the bed and stabbed Brooks more than 30 times out of anger.

Although police and prosecutors do not dispute that Lewis was trafficked and sexually assaulted, they say Brooks was sleeping at the time of the attack and posed no immediate danger to the teenager.

Lewis was arrested the next day and placed in a juvenile detention center for the next two years, where she graduated from high school. She said she had little contact with her family while in detention.

Before being sentenced, Lewis told the court that she was a different person since her arrest.

“My story can change things. My story changed me,” Lewis said, according to the Monks Register. “The events that took place on that horrible day cannot be changed, as much as I would like. On this day, a combination of complicated actions took place, resulting in the death of a person, as well as the stolen innocence of a child.

“No matter what the judge decides today, I will always prevail,” she added, according to the Time.

Lewis also called herself a “survivor,” but prosecutors disputed that claim, saying she did not take responsibility for stabbing Brooks.

You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.


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