DES MOINES, Iowa –
Warning: This story consists of references to sexual assault
An 18-year-old intercourse trafficking sufferer who killed her rapist might be despatched to prison after she walked away from an Iowa girls’s shelter the place she was serving probation following her conviction for manslaughter.
An arrest warrant was issued for Pieper Lewis, who was seen strolling out of the Fresh Start Women’s Center in Des Moines shortly after 6:15 a.m. Friday, in line with a report filed with the court docket by a probation officer and the shelter’s residential supervisor. The report stated Lewis lower off the GPS monitor she was ordered to put on as a part of her sentence after which left the power.
Iowa Department of Corrections spokesman Nick Crawford stated Lewis had not been positioned as of Monday afternoon.
Des Moines Police spokesman Paul Parizek stated police had been notified by state corrections officers that Lewis had walked away from the shelter, and knowledge was broadcast to officers to observe for her. He stated she will probably be taken into custody if discovered and turned over to corrections officers.
Lewis’ public protection lawyer didn’t instantly reply Monday to messages.
Polk County Judge David Porter sentenced Lewis in September to probation for 5 years to be served on the girls’s shelter. He additionally gave her a deferred judgement, which meant her conviction can be expunged from her document if she accomplished the necessities of her probation. Porter warned Lewis at her sentencing listening to that by affording her a chance to keep away from prison he was giving her a second probability. “You do not get a 3rd,” he stated.
Lewis had confronted a 20-year prison sentence after pleading responsible final 12 months to involuntary manslaughter and willful damage within the June 2020 killing of 37-year-old Zachary Brooks, a married father of two. Lewis was 15 when she stabbed Brooks greater than 30 instances in a Des Moines residence.
Corrections officers have requested the court docket to carry a listening to on their request to revoke her probation and deferred judgment and ship her to prison.
Lewis has stated that she was trafficked in opposition to her will to Brooks for intercourse a number of instances and stabbed him in a match of rage after he pressured her to have intercourse with him once more. Police and prosecutors didn’t dispute that Lewis was sexually assaulted and trafficked. The man she accused of forcing her to have intercourse with males, together with Brooks, has by no means been charged.
Court paperwork point out Lewis was allowed to depart the ladies’s shelter to work at a neighborhood pizza restaurant. However, the paperwork confirmed, since Oct. 13 seven incidents had been famous through which she didn’t promptly return to the shelter from work, a violation of shelter guidelines. The filings point out authorities had been conserving an in depth eye on her actions via the GPS monitor. Other violations additionally had been famous, together with an unauthorized assembly with somebody she had dated in highschool.
The 48-bed shelter is in a neighborhood northwest of downtown Des Moines. It is operated by the Department of Corrections for ladies on parole, work launch or on pretrial launch.
Porter additionally had ordered Lewis to pay US$150,000 restitution to Brooks’ property, a transfer many individuals discovered to be outrageous. Porter stated Iowa legislation required the restitution. Court information present Lewis’ lawyer has requested the decide to rethink and Porter ordered attorneys to file briefs on the difficulty by Nov. 10. He indicated he would launch a choice inside 30 days.
Lewis’ public protection lawyer Matthew Sheeley wrote in a doc filed in September after Lewis’ sentencing listening to that her 28-year-old sex-trafficker put a knife to her neck and compelled her to go along with Zachary Brooks “to `flip a trick’ for $50 price of weed.” He stated the seriousness of her offense needs to be diminished by the truth that Brooks raped her earlier than she stabbed him.
Sheeley requested Porter to amend his judgment and discover that the restitution order is extreme and violates her constitutional rights.
A GoFundMe marketing campaign began by a highschool instructor who taught Lewis has raised over US$560,000. No new donations had been being accepted, in line with the positioning.
The instructor, Leland Schipper, instructed The Des Moines Register that he has not been in touch with Lewis since her sentencing in September and that he’s heartbroken that she has left the shelter and is worried about her security. He stated the cash stays with the GoFundMe group and he and Lewis shouldn’t have entry to it.
Court information point out the restitution has not but been paid.
The Associated Press doesn’t sometimes title victims of sexual assault, however Lewis agreed to have her title used beforehand in tales about her case.