Our justice system continues to fail the very people it's supposed to protect.
Pieper Lewis, the Iowa teen girl and sex trafficking victim who killed her rapist, was brought back into custody after she escaped from Polk County Jail, serving a five-year probation sentence. Lewis, 18, went missing on Friday, Nov. 4th, from the Fresh Start Women's Center after pleading guilty to killing 37-year-old Zachary Brooks.
Brooks was one of the men who had repeatedly raped her after she was sex trafficked at 15 years old in 2020. In May of that same year, the man who had initially trafficked Lewis forced her to go to Brook's apartment, where she was forced to drink vodka and woke up to Brooks raping her. Later, Lewis became overwhelmed with anger when she realized Brooks had raped her again and began stabbing him in his sleep.
Pieper Lewis was ordered to serve 1,200 of community service and to pay $150,000 in compensation for killing her rapist. Sex trafficking victims need to be protected and removed from their abusers. But the racist double standard result in cases like Pieper's; when a victim rightly defends themself, they are viewed as a criminal and punished for protecting themself.
We hope this gross injustice is rectified.