A teenage human trafficking sufferer who was initially charged with first-degree homicide after she stabbed her accused rapist to loss of life was sentenced Tuesday in an Iowa courtroom to 5 years of intently supervised probation and ordered to pay $150,000 restitution to the person’s household.

Pieper Lewis, 17, was sentenced Tuesday after she pleaded final yr to involuntary manslaughter and willful damage within the June 2020 killing of 37-year-old Zachary Brooks of Des Moines. Each costs had been punishable by as much as 10 years in jail.

Polk County District choose David M. Porter on Tuesday deferred these jail sentences, which means that if Lewis violates any portion of her probation, she may very well be despatched to jail to serve that 20-year time period.

As for being required to pay the property of her rapist, “this courtroom is introduced with no different choice,” Porter mentioned, noting the restitution is necessary underneath Iowa legislation that has been upheld by the Iowa Supreme Court docket.

Lewis was 15 when she stabbed Brooks greater than 30 occasions in a Des Moines house. Officers have mentioned Lewis was a runaway who was in search of to flee an abusive life together with her adopted mom and was sleeping within the hallways of a Des Moines house constructing when a 28-year-old man took her in earlier than forcibly trafficking her to different males for intercourse.

Lewis mentioned a type of males was Brooks and that he had raped her a number of occasions within the weeks earlier than his loss of life. She recounted being pressured at knifepoint by the 28-year-old man to go along with Brooks to his house for intercourse. She informed officers that after Brooks had raped her but once more, she grabbed a knife from a bedside desk and stabbed Brooks in a match of rage.

Police and prosecutors haven’t disputed that Lewis was sexually assaulted and trafficked. However prosecutors have argued that Brooks was asleep on the time he was stabbed and never a direct hazard to Lewis.

Iowa is just not among the many dozens of states which have a so-called protected harbor legislation that provides trafficking victims at the least some degree of legal immunity.

Lewis, who earned her GED whereas being held in juvenile detention, acknowledged in an announcement previous to her sentencing that she struggled with the construction of her detention, together with “why I used to be handled like fragile glass” or wasn’t allowed to speak together with her mates or household.

“My spirit has been burned, however nonetheless glows by way of the flames,” she learn from an announcement she had ready. “Hear me roar, see me glow, and watch me develop.”

“I’m a survivor,” she added.

The Related Press doesn’t usually title victims of sexual assault, however Lewis agreed to have her title used beforehand in tales about her case.

Prosecutors took difficulty with Lewis calling herself a sufferer within the case and mentioned she didn’t take accountability for stabbing Brooks and “leaving his youngsters with out a father.”

The choose peppered Lewis with repeated requests to clarify what poor selections she made that led as much as Brooks’ stabbing and expressed concern that she generally didn’t wish to comply with guidelines set for her in juvenile lockup.

“The following 5 years of your life will likely be filled with guidelines you disagree with, I’m certain of it,” Porter mentioned. He later added, “That is the second probability that you just’ve requested for. You don’t get a 3rd.”

Karl Schilling with the Iowa Group for Sufferer Help mentioned a invoice to create a protected harbor legislation for trafficking victims handed the Iowa Home earlier this yr, however stalled within the Senate underneath considerations from legislation enforcement teams that it was too broad.

“There was a working group established to iron out the problems,” Shilling mentioned. “Hopefully it will likely be taken up once more subsequent yr.”

Iowa does have an affirmative protection legislation that provides some leeway to victims of crime if the sufferer dedicated the violation “underneath compulsion by one other’s menace of significant damage, supplied that the defendant moderately believed that such damage was imminent.”

Prosecutors argued Tuesday that Lewis waived that affirmative protection when she pleaded responsible to manslaughter and willful damage.

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