Former sex-trafficking victim Pieper Lewis has been ordered to pay $150K to her rapist’s estate and has also been charged with his murder.
Lewis, 17, was sentenced to five years supervised probation with a warning that if she has any violations she could be sentenced to 20 years in prison. According to The Root, the victim was 15 years old at the time she was kidnapped, raped, and trafficked by her rapist, Zachary Brooks, 37.
Lewis had run away from her adopted mother who was abusing her when she found shelter in a building where Brooks happened to live. The Root reports that this case is similar to the case of Chrystul Kizer.
The prosecution argued that Lewis and Kizer both killed their rapists while they were asleep, while neither man was posing “immediate danger.” Prosecutors also focused their argument on Pieper instead of the reasons that led up to her killing Brooks, stating that she took a father from his children.
The state of Iowa is working passing the safe harbor bill that will protect sex trafficking victims, but the bill was only passed in the House and not by the Senate. In the case of Chrystul Kizer, she is allowed to argue that she killed her rapist out of self-defense.
For Pieper Lewis, the prosecutors argued that she had “waived her ability to argue affirmative defense after pleading guilty to manslaughter and willful injury.”
In a statement she said, “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.”