17-year-old Pieper Lewis from Des Moines, Iowa killed her alleged rapist in 2020, has been recently sentenced to pay $150,000 in restitution to his family. After the news became public of what Lewis was set to pay in restitution a GoFundMe campaign was created for Lewis has so far raised over $550,000. In 2020, Lewis 15 years old at the time when she killed 37-year-old Zachary Brooks after she stabbed him more than 30 times. At that time, she had ran away from home and was sleeping in the hallways of an apartment building. She also being pimped out to several men which included Brooks.
Lewis said Brooks raped her multiple times before she grabbed a knife and stabbed him. However, prosecutors alleged that she attacked Brooks while he was sleeping and he posed no immediate threat to her. Lewis was initially charged with first-degree murder in the killing. In 2021, she agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges of manslaughter and willful injury. Those charges could have led to a 10-year sentence each.
Recently an Iowa judge instead sentenced her to 5 years of supervised probation, which could result in 20 years imprisonment if she violates. She will be required to wear a GPS device and to serve 200 hours of community service as well.
Lewis was ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to Brooks’ family, citing that “this court is presented with no other option,” according to the Associated Press.
Since being in juvenile detention for the last two years she has earned her GED.
“My spirit has been burned, but still glows through the flames,” Lewis read from a prepared statement during the hearing. “Hear me roar, see me glow, and watch me grow. I am a survivor.”
Leland Schipper, Lewis’ former math teacher who launched the GoFundMe campaign for her, said that the extra funds from the donations will help Lewis go to college degree or start her own business.
“Pieper wants to go to college, she wants to create art, and she wants to advocate for other girls who find themselves in situations like she endured,” Schipper wrote in the GoFundMe description. “She does not deserve a massive debt looming over her, holding her back from pursuing her ambitions.”