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Iowa Girl Convicted Of Killing Her Alleged Rapist Escapes Custody, Risking 20 Years In Prison

Iowa Girl Charged With Killing Her Rapist Has Escaped Custody, Risking 20 Years In Prison

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

An Iowa girl who was given a “second chance” following a horrific sex trafficking case is now facing 20 years in prison.

If you’ve been keeping up, you may have seen our September story covering the case of Pieper Lewis: a 15-year-old Des Moines girl who ran away from home in 2020. She eventually found herself staying with a man who allegedly began sex trafficking her, where she was forced into the company of 37-year-old Zachary Brooks, who over the course of several days forced her to consume alcohol and marijuana, and raped her multiple times. Those according to the allegations.

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After one of the assaults, Lewis is said to have stabbed Brooks in a fit of rage over 30 times in the chest, arms, and groin. The teen was arrested and charged with first-degree murder soon after. But a year later in 2021, as part of her plea deal, she explained to investigators exactly what happened, noting that after coming back into consciousness following one attack:

“I suddenly realized that Mr. Brooks had raped me yet again and was overcome with rage. Without thinking, I immediately grabbed the knife from his nightstand and began stabbing him.”

Due to the nature of her case, and the injustices she endured, Polk County District Judge David M. Porter decided back in September of this year that instead of having her serve the 20 years for manslaughter, she would be placed on a five-year supervised probation. Additionally, she would serve 1,200 hours of community service and pay a controversial $150,000 in restitution to Brooks’ family, whom the Associated Press revealed Sunday was a married father of two. 

A GoFundMe was later created by one of Lewis’ former teachers to help with the restitution and other expenses, and as of now, has raised over $562,000. Porter explained during the September court date, “This court is presented with no other option,” regarding the fine, but called the sentencing “a second chance for the teen,” further warning if her probation was violated, she could end up having to serve her 20-year sentence.

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Now, it would appear that despite said warning, the teen has escaped the probation center where she was serving her five-year sentence. According to probation violation records via the Des Moines Register, the now 18-year-old cut off her GPS tracking device before fleeing the Fresh Start Women’s Facility in Des Moines. Jerry Evans, executive director of the 5th Judicial District Department of Corrections, told KCCI on Saturday that Pieper escaped at 6:19 a.m. last Friday, and was unsure where she may be headed.

Now, a warrant is out for her arrest, and if found, she could face her original sentence of 20 years for manslaughter. See more (below):

We can’t imagine what must have been going through the young woman’s mind to flee the probation deal keeping her out of prison, but we can imagine there’s a lot of unhealed trauma and PTSD from Brooks that plays a role. We hope things can be worked out and Pieper can be kept out of prison.

[Images via We Are Iowa Local 5 News/YouTube]

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Nov 08, 2022 09:03am PDT