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Donors raise over $300k for Iowa teen who was ordered to pay $150,000 restitution for killing her rapist

An Iowa teenager who was trafficked for sex and fined $150,000 for killing her rapist has been gifted more than double the amount by donors who contributed to a GoFundMe account to cover the costs.

The 17-year old girl, Pieper Lewis, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter last year after stabbing 37-year old Zachary Brooks, who was one of the men who had repeatedly raped her when she was being trafficked at age 15 to several men for sex by another man. She was sentenced last week to $150,000 in restitution to Brooks’ family in spite of the causes leading up to the killing.

Polk County District judge David M. Porter pointed out at the sentencing hearing last week that Iowa state law makes the restitution mandatory and said, “This court is presented with no other option.”

Donors quickly rallied and sent funds to a GoFundMe account set up by Lewis’ former teacher, Leland Schipper. Within 48 hours, the fundraiser had garnered over $323,000 for Lewis, more than double the amount of her restitution.

“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,” wrote Schipper. “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.”

Lewis was also sentenced to five years of probation instead of incarceration.

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