Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Girl who killed her rapist must pay his estate


A 15-year-old Iowa girl was raped several times in 2020. She pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and willful injury for stabbing her accused 37-year-old rapist, Zachary Brooks. Now, under Iowa law, she must pay Brooks’s estate $150,000, the Des Moines Register reports.

Pieper Lewis was homeless when a man befriended her and then gave her to other men in exchange for drugs or money. In a rage, she stabbed and killed one 37-year-old man who repeatedly raped her.

Fortunately, a former teacher started a GoFundMe page and has so far raised about half a million dollars, more than enough to pay the mandatory debt.

She spent two years in detention before her case came before Judge David M Porter, who sentenced her to five years of probation and a deferred judgment. That means if she meets the conditions of her sentence, her record could be expunged. She could have been sentenced to 20 years in prison, but Judge Porter saw the victimization that results from human trafficking.

Our heart goes out to Leland Schipper, her former math teacher, who started and publicized the GoFundMe page, which will not only let Pieper pay off her debt to the estate of her rapist but also help her with college or perhaps a business.


This Iowa law, enacted in 1997 and affirmed in 2017 by the Iowa Supreme Court, requires Pieper to pay $150,000 to the estate of her rapist and certainly punishes the victim in this case, even though she raised the money.

Exceptions should be written into laws like this one, exceptions that will give judges the discretion to remove the burden on victims who lash out at rapists who have shown nothing but hatred for life and the beauty of good people, children actually, who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances through no fault of their own.

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.


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