Teen Trafficking Victim Who Killed Her Rapist Ordered To Pay $150K In Restitution

GoFundMe for Pieper Lewis set up to support Des Moines teen – Des Moines Register

Pieper Lewis, 17, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the June 2020 killing of 37-year-old Zachary Brooks. The judge deferred the sentence until Lewis violated any portion of her probation.

Lewis was 15 when she stabbed Brooks more than 30 times in a Des Moines apartment. She said she was forced at knifepoint to go with Brooks to his apartment for sex, and after Brooks had raped her yet again, she grabbed a knife from a bedside table and stabbed Brooks.

Lewis, who earned her GED while being held in juvenile detention, acknowledged that she struggled with the structure of her detention and that her spirit “has been burned” but still glows.

Prosecutors said Lewis failed to take responsibility for the stabbing and left Brooks’ kids without a father. The judge asked Lewis to explain her poor choices that led up to Brooks’ stabbing.

Iowa offers an affirmative defense to victims of crimes if the victim committed the crime under compulsion by another’s threat of serious injury. Prosecutors argued that Lewis waived the affirmative defense when she pleaded guilty to manslaughter and willful injury, because she admitted to acting under compulsion by another’s threat of serious injury.

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John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.