Donations surge for US teen ordered to pay rapist’s family
Sep 16, 2022 - 09:31 AM
WASHINGTON — Donations poured in on Thursday for a teenager in the midwestern US state of Iowa who killed her accused rapist and was ordered by a court to pay $150,000 to his family.
Pieper Lewis, 17, was sentenced in Polk County earlier this week to five years of probation and community service for the June 2020 stabbing death of Zachary Brooks.
Lewis, who was 15 at the time and had run away from home, accused the 37-year-old Brooks of raping her repeatedly.
She was initially charged with murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Judge David Porter delivered the probation sentence on Lewis but also ordered her to pay $150,000 in restitution to Brooks’ family, saying state law gave him no other choice.
The ruling provoked an uproar and a former teacher of Lewis, Leland Schipper, organized a GoFundMe to raise funds for the former student.
“A child who was raped, under no circumstances, should owe the rapist’s family money,” Schipper said in an online post.
As of Thursday afternoon, the GoFundMe had raised nearly $390,000.
Schipper said the funds will be used to pay off the $150,000 debt and $4,000 due to the state.
The additional money will be used to “remove financial barriers for Pieper in pursuing college/university or starting her own business,” Schipper said.