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15th Sep 2022

Donations pour in after teen is ordered to pay $150k to her rapist’s family

Jack Peat

Over $332,000 has been raised on the GoFundMe page 

Donations to a GoFundMe page set up after a teen was ordered to pay $150,000 to her alleged rapist’s family have flooded in since it was first set up.

A judge ordered Pieper Lewis to pay the money to the man’s family after she pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and willful injury following the 2020 fatal stabbing of 37-year-old Zachary Brooks. She was 15 at the time.

Authorities said Lewis was a runaway seeking to escape an abusive home life sleeping in the hallways of a Des Moines apartment building when Brooks took her in and began trafficking her to other men for sex. He also raped her repeatedly, she said.

Lewis said that she was trafficked by Brooks for sex “multiple times” and “stabbed him in a fit of rage.” Authorities didn’t dispute her story that she was trafficked and sexually assaulted.

Iowa law requires those convicted of a felony causing the death of another person to pay $150,000.

But a fundraising appeal for Lewis has already raised over $332,000 from about 8,700 donations as of Thursday morning after it was set up by Leland Schipper, her maths teacher at Des Moines Lincoln High School.

“A child who was raped, under no circumstances, should owe the rapist’s family money,” Schipper wrote in the GoFundMe appeal. As donations surpassed the amount of the restitution, Schipper added: “I am overjoyed with the prospect of removing this burden from Pieper.”

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