Iowa officials say an 18-year-old sex trafficking victim who pleaded guilty to killing her accused rapist has escaped from a women’s detention center, reports the Associated Press.
Surveillance footage captured Pieper Lewis walking out of the building at the Fresh Start Women’s Center in Des Moines around 6:15 a.m. on Friday where she was serving her probationary sentence. According to the report, her GPS monitor was taken off before she exited the facility.
Lewis was just 15 years old when she killed 37-year-old Zachary Brooks, a married father of two, who she accused of raping her on multiple occasions. She stabbed Brooks more than 30 times in a Des Moines apartment. Lewis claimed that Brooks trafficked her against her will and she stabbed him in a moment of rage. Initially, she was charged with first-degree murder.
After pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter and willful injury in June 2022,Lewis received a deferred judgment from Polk County District Judge David Porter in September and was ordered to pay $150,000 to his family in restitution, as required by Iowa law. A GoFundMe page raised over $560,000 to cover the restitution cost and other related expenses.
“I am overjoyed with the prospect of removing this burden from Pieper,” said the campaign’s organizer, Leland Schipper, one of Lewis’s former teachers. “A child who was raped, under no circumstances, should owe the rapist’s family money.”
Porter also ruled that Lewis would receive five years of probation, serve 200 hours of community service, and pay an additional $4,000 in civil penalties. The deferred judgment meant it could be expunged from Lewis’ record.
Because of the latest incident, a warrant was issued for Lewis’ arrest and the probation report has asked for her “deferred judgment to be revoked and have her original sentence imposed.”
She could face up to 20 years in prison.