Pieper Lewis, 19, Missing After Violating Probation forSecond Time

Pieper Lewis, a 19-year-old sex trafficking victim who killed her rapist, has violated her probation for the second time and is currently missing. A nationwide warrant has been issued for her arrest after her GPS device went dead on April 6, 2024.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Pieper Lewis, 19, Missing After Violating Probation forSecond Time

Pieper Lewis, 19, Missing After Violating Probation forSecond Time

Pieper Lewis, a 19-year-old Des Moines sex trafficking victim who killed her rapist, has violated her probation for the second time and is currently missing. A nationwide warrant has been issued for her arrest after her GPS device went dead on April 6, 2024.

Why this matters: This case highlights the complexities and challenges of the criminal justice system in addressing cases of sex trafficking and victimhood. It also raises questions about the effectiveness of probation and rehabilitation programs in supporting victims of trauma.

Lewis pleaded guilty in September 2022 to involuntary manslaughter and willful injury for fatally stabbing 37-year-old Zachary Brooks, whom she accused of repeatedly raping her when she was 15. She was sentenced to five years of probation, 600 hours of community service, and ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to Brooks' family.

In November 2023, Lewis was taken to a residential program in Atlanta, Georgia, to help victims of sexual exploitation. However, she repeatedly violated the center's rules and was asked to leave in March 2024. After meeting with probation officials and being fitted with a GPS monitor, she failed to attend meetings and allowed the monitor battery to go dead.

This is not the first time Lewis has violated her probation. In March 2023, she pleaded guilty to escaping from the Des Moines Fresh Start Women's Center, where she was serving her probation term. During her sentencing in September 2022, the judge warned Lewis, "You've asked for a second chance. You don't get a third." victim

Lewis' case gained national attention due to the circumstances surrounding her conviction and the outpouring of public support. A GoFundMecampaignraised approximately $560,000 for her, nearly four times the amount she was ordered to pay in restitution to Brooks' family.

Iowa Corrections officials stated that Lewis' whereabouts have been unknown since April 6, 2024. A judge allowed Lewis' Iowa attorneys to withdraw from her case in March. The Iowa Department of Corrections has issued a nationwide warrant for her arrest, urging her to contact her probation officer immediately.