Teenage girl who killed her alleged rapist is ordered to pay $150,000 to his family

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By Asiya Ali

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A teenage girl who was initially charged with first-degree murder after she stabbed her alleged rapist to death has been ordered to pay $150,000 to the man’s family.

As reported by BBC News, in June 2020, Pieper Lewis, now 17, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and willful injury for the killing of 37-year-old Zachary Brooks - both punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

On Tuesday (September 13), Polk County District Judge David M. Porter deferred those prison sentences on the understanding that she doesn't violate any portion of her probation. She is also required to pay the estate of her alleged rapist.

The judge ordered her to be placed in a residential facility where she must wear a tracking device and said the next five years of her life will be "full of rules [she] disagrees with," adding, "this is the second chance that you've asked for. You don't get a third".

Watch her statement below: 

When Lewis was 15, she ran away from a reportedly abusive home and was sleeping in a hallway of a Des Moines apartment building when a 28-year-old man took her in and allegedly trafficked her to others for sex.

The teenager said one of those men was Brooks and that he had raped her multiple times in the weeks before his death. Lewis told officials that after the man had raped her, she grabbed a knife from a bedside table and stabbed him 30 times.

While she accepted that she had committed a crime, she also defended her actions, saying: "I took a person's life. My intentions that day were not to just go out and take somebody's life."

"In my mind, I felt that I wasn't safe and I felt that I was in danger, which resulted in the acts. But it doesn't take away from the fact that a crime was committed," she added.

wp-image-1263169197 size-full
Credit: GoFundMe

According to BBC News, in regards to a 1997 law upheld by Iowa supreme court, Lewis is mandated to pay the $150,000 restitution, with the judge explaining that the court was given "no other option".

A former teacher of the teen, Leland Schipper, organized a GoFundMe page to help Lewis pay off the $150,000 restitution and the additional $4,000 owed to the state. By Thursday, the donations had amassed $324,545, surpassing the required amount.

"I am overjoyed with the prospect of removing this burden from Pieper," Schipper wrote, adding: "A child who was raped, under no circumstances, should owe the rapist’s family money."

In addition to her required payments, Schipper said the money would also be used to "remove financial barriers for Pieper in pursuing college/university or starting her own business [and] give Pieper the financial capacity to explore ways to help other young victims of sex crimes".

Lewis - who earned her GED in juvenile detention - said in a statement before sentencing that her spirit "has been burned but still glows through the flames. Hear me roar, see me glow, and watch me grow."

"I am a survivor," she concluded.

Featured image credit: Jim West / Alamy

Teenage girl who killed her alleged rapist is ordered to pay $150,000 to his family

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

A teenage girl who was initially charged with first-degree murder after she stabbed her alleged rapist to death has been ordered to pay $150,000 to the man’s family.

As reported by BBC News, in June 2020, Pieper Lewis, now 17, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and willful injury for the killing of 37-year-old Zachary Brooks - both punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

On Tuesday (September 13), Polk County District Judge David M. Porter deferred those prison sentences on the understanding that she doesn't violate any portion of her probation. She is also required to pay the estate of her alleged rapist.

The judge ordered her to be placed in a residential facility where she must wear a tracking device and said the next five years of her life will be "full of rules [she] disagrees with," adding, "this is the second chance that you've asked for. You don't get a third".

Watch her statement below: 

When Lewis was 15, she ran away from a reportedly abusive home and was sleeping in a hallway of a Des Moines apartment building when a 28-year-old man took her in and allegedly trafficked her to others for sex.

The teenager said one of those men was Brooks and that he had raped her multiple times in the weeks before his death. Lewis told officials that after the man had raped her, she grabbed a knife from a bedside table and stabbed him 30 times.

While she accepted that she had committed a crime, she also defended her actions, saying: "I took a person's life. My intentions that day were not to just go out and take somebody's life."

"In my mind, I felt that I wasn't safe and I felt that I was in danger, which resulted in the acts. But it doesn't take away from the fact that a crime was committed," she added.

wp-image-1263169197 size-full
Credit: GoFundMe

According to BBC News, in regards to a 1997 law upheld by Iowa supreme court, Lewis is mandated to pay the $150,000 restitution, with the judge explaining that the court was given "no other option".

A former teacher of the teen, Leland Schipper, organized a GoFundMe page to help Lewis pay off the $150,000 restitution and the additional $4,000 owed to the state. By Thursday, the donations had amassed $324,545, surpassing the required amount.

"I am overjoyed with the prospect of removing this burden from Pieper," Schipper wrote, adding: "A child who was raped, under no circumstances, should owe the rapist’s family money."

In addition to her required payments, Schipper said the money would also be used to "remove financial barriers for Pieper in pursuing college/university or starting her own business [and] give Pieper the financial capacity to explore ways to help other young victims of sex crimes".

Lewis - who earned her GED in juvenile detention - said in a statement before sentencing that her spirit "has been burned but still glows through the flames. Hear me roar, see me glow, and watch me grow."

"I am a survivor," she concluded.

Featured image credit: Jim West / Alamy