After being sentenced to five years of supervised probation and ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to the family of her accused rapist, Pieper Lewis has escaped from custody.
According to CNN, Lewis “walked away from the Fresh Start Women’s Center on Friday at 6:19 a.m. after cutting off her electronic monitoring tracking device.”
The district’s executive director, Jerry Evans, also told CNN in an email Sunday morning that,
At this time, her whereabouts are unknown.
The Story of Pieper Lewis
Pieper Lewis was a 15-year-old girl who killed a man she claims raped her multiple times while trafficking her.
Initially she was charged and pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for the killing of 37-year-old Zachary Brooks, but instead Judge Porter gave her a deferred sentence, five years probation, placement at a women’s facility with a GPS tracker and ordered her to pay $150,000 in restitution to the family of her accused rapist with the hopes that she doesn’t return to her old lifestyle.
Lewis also claims that Brooks gave her alcohol and marijuana, and forced her to take part in a sex trafficking ring. She also says that he had sex with her multiple times while she was unconscious.
CNN reports that Lewis is one of several teenagers who have been “legally penalized or convicted of killing their sex trafficker or assaulter in recent years” emphasizing that people of color are often affected.
One person who was in Lewis’ corner refused to sit by and do nothing. Her former math teacher started a GoFundMe to help pay for the restitution that was owed, and helped raise over $373,000.
17-yo Pieper Lewis was recently ordered to pay $150K to the family of her accused trafficker and rapist she fatally stabbed. Now, a GoFundMe, started by Lewis’ former math teacher, has raised over $235K to help the Iowa teen pay off the restitution.
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) September 15, 2022
The Story of Cyntoia Brown
Cyntoia Brown, another victim of sex trafficking turned criminal justice reform advocate whose story premiered in a 2020 Netflix Documentary, spoke out in support of Lewis saying,
She was a victim in this situation. Not only is she going to have to serve time in a facility but, over the next five years, anything that she does can trigger her having to serve a 20-year sentence. So,she’s not truly free.
Brown was sentenced to life in prison for killing a 43-year-old man who paid $150 to have sex with her when she was only 16-years-old. She was later granted clemency and released after spending almost half her life in prison.
While it’s unclear where Pieper Lewis is, officials are now asking that her probation be revoked due to this probation violation and has issued a warrant out for her arrest.