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 custody.
According to CNN, Lewis “walked away from the Fresh Start Women’s Center on Friday at 6:19 a.m. after turning off her electronic monitoring 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 says raped her multiple times while he trafficked her.
She was initially charged and pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for the killing of 37-year-old Zachary Brooks, but Judge Porter instead sentenced her to a suspended sentence, five years of probation, confinement in a women’s facility with a GPS tracker, and ordered her. to pay $150,000 in restitution to the family of her accused rapist in hopes that she will not return to her old lifestyle.
Lewis also claims that Brooks gave her alcohol and marijuana and forced her to participate in sex trafficking. She also says that he had sex with her many times while she was unconscious.
CNN reports that Lewis is one of several teenagers who have been “legally punished or convicted of killing a sex trafficker or their attacker in recent years” and emphasizes that people of color are often affected.
One man in Lewis’s corner refused to sit by and do nothing. Her former math teacher started a GoFundMe to help pay for the restitution that was due and helped raise over $373,000.
Pieper Lewis, 17, was recently ordered to pay $150,000 to the family of her accused trafficker and rapist she stabbed to death. Now, a GoFundMe started by Lewis’ former math teacher has raised over $235K to help the Iowa teenager pay off the damages.
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) September 15, 2022
The story of Cyntoia Brown
Cyntoia Brown, another sex-trafficking victim-turned-criminal-reform advocate whose story was featured in a 2020 Netflix documentary, spoke in support of Lewis, saying:
She was a victim in this situation. Not only will she have to serve time in an institution, but anything she does in the next five years could result in her having to serve a 20-year sentence. So she is not completely free.
Brown was sentenced to life in prison for murdering a 43-year-old man who paid her $150 to have sex with her when she was just 16 years old. She was later pardoned and released after spending nearly half her life in prison.
While Pieper Lewis’ whereabouts are unclear, officials are now requesting that her probation be revoked due to this probation violation and have issued a warrant for her arrest.