According to Iowa’s Fifth Judicial District Department of Corrections, Pieper Lewis, the Iowa teen who killed a man she claimed had raped her and was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay restitution to his family, has escaped from a residential corrections facility. Lewis was convicted of killing the man after being sentenced to probation and ordered to pay restitution to the man’s family.
On Friday at 6:19 a.m., Lewis “walked away from the Fresh Start Women’s Center.” after disabling her electronic monitoring tracking device, Jerry Evans, the district executive director, said in an email to CNN on Sunday morning that he had received the information. “At this point, it is unknown where she is,” the speaker said.
According to Evans, a complaint of a breach of her probation has been submitted by authorities, and it is recommended that her probation be terminated. “A warrant was later issued for her arrest, and it is still unresolved to this day.”
Lewis was just 15 years old when she fatally shot a guy she claimed had repeatedly raped her. After she pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and deliberate injury before Polk County District Judge David Porter, she was given a deferred judgement. In September, an Iowa judge ordered Lewis to pay $150,000 to his family in reparations, as Iowa law requires.
In addition, Porter decided that Lewis would be placed on probation for five years, required to perform 200 hours of community service, and pay an extra $4,000 in civil penalties. Because the verdict was postponed, it could be removed from Lewis’s record.
Lewis entered a guilty plea for the murder of Zachary Brooks in June 2021, alleging in the plea bargain that the 37-year-old had sexually assaulted her numerous times in the previous year. At first, she was being held accountable for first-degree murder.
Lewis stated in the agreement that she had run away from home multiple times and ended up sleeping in the hallway of an apartment complex after she had exhausted all other options.
According to what she submitted in the plea deal, she was taken in by one man, but she left him after he became abusive. She claimed that after that, she moved in with another man who set up an online dating profile and arranged for men to have s*x with her for money. She said that she did this while she was still living with the first man. According to Lewis, she lived with that man from April 2020 until she was arrested for the murder of Brooks. He told her that she was his girlfriend.
She said that she was introduced to Brooks in May 2020 and that after giving her wine and marijuana, he had intercourse with her five times while she was asleep over three days. She also claimed that this occurred while she was under the influence of both substances. According to her plea, Lewis was aware of what he had done each time she recovered consciousness while he was still on top of her. This occurred multiple times.
According to what Lewis wrote, on May 31, the man with whom she resided attacked her with a knife after she disobeyed his order to go to Brooks’ apartment and have s*x with Brooks in exchange for marijuana. He wanted her to do this so that he could get his hands on the marijuana. She alleged in the plea that she eventually gave in and decided to travel after he had sliced her neck.
According to what she wrote, when she visited Brooks at his apartment, he made her drink vodka shots till she passed out. She claimed she woke up at one point to find that Brooks was raping her. Lewis proceeded to look for Brooks’s clothes while Brooks dozed off and fell asleep. She wrote that she found him naked on the floor when she returned to the bedroom.
“All of a sudden, I realised that Mr Brooks had raped me again, and I was wrathful. “Without giving it any thought, I reached over to his bedside, grabbed the knife, and instantly began stabbing him,” Lewis admitted in the plea bargain. “I also acknowledge that the several stab wounds that I inflicted against Mr Brooks after that ultimately led to him passing away,”
Advocates Were Worried
In imposing the community service sentence on Lewis, Judge Porter stated that she would have the opportunity to share her “experience with other young and vulnerable women in our community.” Lewis agreed that this would be a beneficial use of her time.
The attorney for Lewis expressed his satisfaction with the court’s decision to defer her sentencing and praised her for her bravery. But many who fight for sexual assault victims have a different opinion.
KellyMarie Meek, who worked for the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault at the time, expressed concern about Lewis’ capacity to manage the terms of her probation owing to the depth of her trauma by stating, “I don’t think that justice was served.”
“Because I know that many of the ways trauma survivors deal with their trauma are not understood very well by people who haven’t experienced trauma,” she said. “This can sometimes lead to behaviours that get people into trouble.” “Because I know that many of the ways trauma survivors deal with their trauma are not understood very well by people who have not experienced trauma.”
Lewis is one of several adolescents, most of whom are people of colour. They have been legally punished or convicted in recent years in the United States for killing their s*x trafficker or assaulter. Lewis was one of those adolescents.
Cyntoia Brown stated during a “PBS Newshour” appearance that “It’s just a scenario that has regrettably become all too familiar.” Brown, now 32 years old, was found guilty of murdering the guy who had been paid to rape her while she was a 16-year-old victim of human trafficking. She was given a sentence of life in prison for her crime. In 2019, she was finally released from prison after serving more than half her life sentence.
Brown, now an advocate for reform in the criminal justice system, said of Lewis, “She was a victim in this situation.” “Not only will she have to serve time in a facility, but anything she does over the following five years has the potential to result in her having to serve a term of 20 years,” the judge said. “This is a grave matter.” Therefore, it cannot be said that she is entirely free.
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