Photo: Getty Images
  /  11.09.2022

Iowa teen Pieper Lewis is back in custody after escaping from a local probation center on Friday (Nov. 4). As previously reported by REVOLT, the 18-year-old was sentenced to five years at the facility for the June 2020 killing of a man who allegedly raped and trafficked her. Once she fled, many wished her well, claiming the justice system failed her.

Yesterday (Nov. 8), Lewis was booked into the Polk County Jail around 2:00 p.m., according to local Des Moines news station WHO 13. Sources said she “walked away from the Fresh Start Women’s Center on Friday (Nov. 4) at 6:19 a.m. after cutting off her electronic monitoring tracking device.” WHO 13 added that she originally faced a first-degree murder charge for her alleged captor’s death and that prosecutors now want her probation revoked. If the motion is granted, she could serve a 20-year sentence.

As the news continues to travel, more and more people are speaking out against her detainment. “I feel so sorry for Pieper Lewis because I know they [are] about to make her complete a longer sentence smh! I definitely understand why she escaped! Can’t even imagine what’s going on in her head!” one person tweeted. Another user mentioned recent events that have negatively impacted Black women: “Brittney Griner. Stacey Abrams. Pieper Lewis. Kylah Spring. Today feels so heavy. I know in my spirit this country don’t give a damn about Black women and girls, but knowing it doesn’t make this burden feel any lighter. Today feels heavy as hell.”

At 15 years old, Lewis left home to seek refuge from an abusive environment. While living on the streets, she met 37-year-old Zachary Brooks. The man over twice her age reportedly raped her multiple times and forced her to have sex with other men before she stabbed him to death in 2020. In addition to being placed in custody, a court ordered the teen to pay his family $150,000 in restitution.

In September, a teacher named Leland Schipper who taught Lewis during her freshman year of high school organized a GoFundMe account to help pay for the victim’s legal fees. The teacher described the former student as a “then-15-year-old girl who had been kicked out of her home and found herself sleeping in the stairwell of one of the most dangerous apartment complexes in Des Moines; a girl that was ultimately preyed upon by men twice her age who traded her body for drugs.” The heartfelt plea asking supporters to reach a $200,000 goal has garnered more than $560,000 in donations.

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