GoFundMe Donations Up in the Air After Iowa Teen Ordered to Pay $150,000 to Accused Rapist’s Family
A GoFundMe page has collected over $325,000 for an Iowa teen who has to pay restitution to her rapist's family after she pled guilty to stabbing him to death.
The problem? Her attorneys have to determine if those funds can be used for payment of restitution under Iowa law.
17-year-old Pieper Lewis was sentenced to five years of closely supervised probation and ordered to pay $150,000 restitution to the man’s family earlier this week.
She pleaded last year to involuntary manslaughter and willful injury in the June 2020 killing of 37-year-old Zachary Brooks. Lewis was 15 when she stabbed Brooks more than 30 times in a Des Moines apartment.
Officials have said Lewis was a runaway who was seeking to escape an abusive life with her adopted mother and was sleeping in the hallways of a Des Moines apartment building when Brooks took her in before forcibly trafficking her to other men for sex.
A GoFundMe fundraiser created to support 17-year-old Pieper Lewis raised more than $325,000 from about 8,500 donations as of Thursday morning. That's great news, right?? Well, her lawyers will have to determine if those donations can be used for restitution under Iowa law.
Lewis is also ordered to pay $4,000 in state restitution on top of the $150,000 to the family of her rapist.
Prosecutors took issue with Lewis calling herself a victim in the case and said she failed to take responsibility for stabbing Brooks and “leaving his kids without a father.”
The judge peppered Lewis with repeated requests to explain what poor choices she made that led up to Brooks’ stabbing and expressed concern that she sometimes did not want to follow rules set for her in juvenile lockup.
Those words and questions would crush 99% of people in her position...but she did not let it affect her voice and what she had to say: