• Wednesday, October 05, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Donation pours in for American teen ordered to pay $150K to alleged rapist’s family

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By: Chandrashekar Bhat

Donations poured in for an American teenager who was ordered by a court to pay $150,000 to the family of a man who she killed for allegedly assaulting her sexually.

Pieper Lewis of Des Moines in the US state of Iowa was sentenced in Polk County earlier this week to five years of probation and community service for stabbing Zachary Brooks to death in June 2020.

Lewis, who had run away from home at the age of 15, accused the 37-year-old man of raping her.

Lewis, now 17, said she was a victim of sex trafficking and that Brooks sexually assaulted her on the night they met and then he repeated the act. Lewis said she stabbed him to death in a fit of rage while he was sleeping.

She pleaded guilty to manslaughter after being initially charged with murder.

“The events that took place on that horrific day cannot be changed, as much as I wish I could”, Lewis said during her sentencing hearing on Tuesday. She also expressed remorse for her action.

Judge David Porter sentenced her to probation and ordered her to pay $150,000 in restitution to Brooks’ family, saying he was bound by the law of the state. She was also ordered to perform 1,200 hours of community service.

However, the verdict sparked an outcry and her former teacher Leland Schipper organised a GoFundMe to raise funds for the payment.

“A child who was raped, under no circumstances, should owe the rapist’s family money,” the teacher said in an online post.

The GoFundMe raised more than $300,000.

Schipper said the additional money left after the $150,000 payment in restitution and a further $4,000 due to the state would be used for pursuing her education or starting her own business.

According to a CBS News report, Lewis will stay at the Fresh Start Women’s Centre in Des Moines while serving her five years of probation.

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