Teen Trafficking Victim Ordered To Pay $150K For Killing Alleged Rapist

A teenage sex-trafficking victim has been sentenced to five years of closely supervised probation and was ordered to pay a $150,000 restitution after she killed her accused rapist, an Iowa judge said Tuesday (September 13), per the New York Post.Pieper Lewis was 15 when she stabbed 37-year-old alleged rapist Zachary Brooks more than 30 times in a Des Moines apartment over two years ago.Lewis, now 17, was initially charged with first-degree murder for the June 2020 fatal stabbing. She pleaded guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter and willful injury — Charges punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
 

Polk County District Judge David M. Porter deferred Lewis’ sentence Tuesday, but if she violates her probation, she could still face 20 years in prison.

Lewis was ordered to pay $150,000 to the family of her accused rapist because the court was “presented with no other option,” Porter said — The restitution is a requirement under Iowa law.

The 17-year-old has been also ordered to complete 200 hours of community service and will be moved to a Des Moines halfway house, where she will be forced to wear a GPS tracking device.

Lewis said she was sleeping in the hallways of an apartment when 28-year-old Christopher Brown began trafficking her to other men for sex.

At one point, the teenager said she was forced by Brown at knifepoint to have sex with Brooks.

After Brooks raped her, Lewis said she grabbed a knife lying on a bedside table and stabbed him.

Brooks was asleep and not an immediate threat to Lewis when she fatally stabbed him, prosecutors argued.

Iowa is not among the dozens of states that have enacted safe-harbor laws to allow trafficking victims a degree of criminal immunity.

“I took a person’s life,” Lewis said, per the New York Times. “My intentions that day were not to just to go out and take somebody’s life. In my mind, I felt that I wasn’t safe and I felt that I was in danger, which resulted in the acts. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that a crime was committed.”

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