17-year-old girl jailed for killing rapist, to pay family $150,000

A 17-year-old girl, Pieper Lewis was sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday for stabbing her alleged 37-year-old rapist, Zachary Brooks to death in June 2020.

The Iowa court in its judgment also ordered Lewis to pay her victim’s family the sum of $150,000 as restitution.

CBS reports that she is a human trafficking victim initially charged with first-degree murder after she stabbed Brooks to death.

She pleaded guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter and willful injury for killing Brooks who lived in Des Moines, Iowa, United States of America.

Despite that both charges were punishable by up to 10 years in prison, Lewis got a five-year jail term which will be with closely supervised probation.

Polk County District Judge David M. Porter on Tuesday deferred those prison sentences, meaning that if Lewis violates any portion of her probation, she could be sent to prison to serve that 20-year term.

Ruling on the payment of the estate of her rapist, “This court is presented with no other option,” Porter said, noting the restitution is mandatory under Iowa law that has been upheld by the Iowa Supreme Court.

Lewis was 15 when she stabbed Brooks more than 30 times in a Des Moines apartment. Officials have disclosed Lewis was a runaway who was seeking to escape an abusive life with her adopted mother.

As a result of this, she was sleeping in the hallways of a Des Moines apartment building when a 28-year-old man took her in before forcibly trafficking her to other men for sex.

Lewis said one of those men was Brooks and that he had raped her multiple times in the weeks before his death. She recounted being forced at knifepoint by the 28-year-old man to go with Brooks to his apartment for sex.

Stabbing her rapist

She told officials that after Brooks had raped her again, she grabbed a knife from a bedside table and stabbed Brooks out of rage.

Police and prosecutors have not disputed that Lewis was sexually assaulted and trafficked. But prosecutors have argued that Brooks was asleep when he was stabbed and not an immediate danger to Lewis.

“My spirit has been burned, but still glows through the flames. Hear me roar, see me glow, and watch me grow. I am a survivor,” Lewis said during her trial.

Judging, Porter told Lewis, “The next five years of your life will be full of rules you disagree with, I’m sure of it. This is the second chance that you’ve asked for. You don’t get a third.”

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