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GoFundMe for teen sex trafficking victim who killed her alleged rapist hits $385K

More than 10,000 people have donated to a now-17-year-old human trafficking victim who stabbed her alleged rapist to death.

Pieper Lewis, who was 15 at the time of the June 2020 assault, was ordered Tuesday to pay $150,000 to the Iowa family of 37-year-old Zachary Brooks after pleading guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter and willful injury for his death.

By Thursday afternoon, a GoFundMe started by her former teacher, Leland Schipper, has collected more than $385,000, more than double what she owes.

“Pieper does not owe that man’s family justice. Pieper does not deserve to be financially burdened for the rest of her life because the state of Iowa wrote a law that fails to give judges any discretion as to how it is applied,” Schipper wrote on the fund-raising page.

“This law doesn’t make sense in many cases, but in this case, it’s morally unjustifiable. A child who was raped, under no circumstances, should owe the rapist’s family money.”

The growing funds will be used to pay off Lewis’ restitution, an additional $4,000 in costs to the state, help her pay for college or to start her own business and give her “the financial capacity to explore ways to help other young victims of sex crimes,” Schipper wrote.

Lewis was sleeping in a Des Moines apartment building hallway after running away from an abusive mother when a 28-year-old neighbor took her in and began renting her out to other men through dating apps.

Among them was Brooks, who raped her repeatedly for weeks, she told police. On June 1, 2020, Lewis’ trafficker forced her at knifepoint to go to his apartment, where Brooks raped her once again. After he was done, Lewis grabbed a knife from a bedside table and stabbed him more than 30 times.

Prosecutors said Lewis was not in immediate danger because Brooks was asleep at the time.

Polk County District Judge David Porter sentenced Lewis to $150,000 in restitution to Brooks’ family and 200 hours of community service a year for three years. She must also wear a GPS ankle monitor.

“Pieper wants to go to college, she wants to create art, and she wants to advocate for other girls who find themselves in situations like she endured. She does not deserve a massive debt looming over her, holding her back from pursuing her ambitions,” Schipper wrote in the GoFundMe.

“Our system is broken. It will take decades of advocacy and electing people committed to rethinking and reimagining our criminal justice system, especially our juvenile one, to fix the system. In the meantime, Pieper needs us now.”

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© 2022 New York Daily News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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