Pieper Lewis: Sex trafficking victim who stabbed abuser 30 times for raping her ORDERED TO PAY $150K to his family
Trigger warning: This article contains information about child sexual assault that could be traumatic for some readers. Discretion is advised.
DES MOINES, IOWA: A teenager pled guilty to murdering her alleged rapist and trafficker. Pieper Lewis, the sex trafficking victim, stabbed Zachary Brooks, 37, thirty times at a Des Moines house on June 1, 2020, for reportedly trafficking her and repeatedly raping her. The 17-year-old girl was 15 at the time when Brooks reportedly sexually assaulted her multiple times. She was initially charged with first-degree murder after stabbing Brooks, and sentenced to five years of closely supervised probation, but is now has been ordered to pay $150,000 restitution to the man’s family.
In Lewis' plea statement, she said, "I did not want to have sex with Mr Brooks. I did not want to go to Mr Brooks' apartment, but I had no other place to go." She was sentenced on Tuesday, September 13, after she pleaded last year to involuntary manslaughter and willful injury to Brooks of Des Moines in the June 2020 killing. As both the charges are punishable by up to 10 years each in prison, the judge deferred these sentences, implying that if Lewis violates any part of her probation, she would most certainly be sent to prison to serve that 20-year term, as per WHO 13 News.
Lewis has to pay restitution to the man's family under Iowa state law. Polk County District Judge David M Porter stated that the law requires her to pay the restitution despite the extraordinary circumstances of the case as it's a law that has been maintained by the Iowa Supreme Court. Her attorney argued that requiring Porter to pay restitution to the man who raped her when she was a teenager is straight-up cruel and unusual punishment.
Pieper Lewis to pay $150K to her alleged abuser's family
The police and prosecutors have not challenged Lewis' sexual assault and trafficking. But when Lewis told the court that after Brooks had raped her yet again at knifepoint, she grabbed a knife from a bedside table and stabbed Brooks in a fit of rage, the prosecutors argued that the fact that Brooks was asleep establishes that he was not an immediate danger to her.
Lewis' attorney Matt Sheeley said, "That is not the most important pressing concern that she has. She wants to move on with her life. She has got her entire life ahead of her. She has all these opportunities ahead of her. So the restitution is not really something she is bothered by at this point."
On the other hand, Judge Porter expressed his interest in the series of emotions that led Lewis to kill a man. He also told the court that there were concerns that she sometimes did not want to follow rules set for her in juvenile lockup. Porter said, "The next five years of your life will be full of rules you disagree with, I’m sure of it. This is the second chance that you’ve asked for. You don’t get a third."
Lewis is required to go undergo mental health and substance abuse evaluation as well as GPS tracking and monitoring, and she will not be eligible for early release via probation.
If you or anyone you know suspects child abuse, you are urged to immediately call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential and the hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.