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Iowa Teen on Probation for Killing Her Alleged Rapist Cut GPS Ankle Monitor Off and Escaped Residential Correctional Facility, Authorities Say

Pieper Lewis

Pieper Lewis

An 18-year-old in Iowa who was on probation for killing a man who allegedly raped her multiple times has escaped from the residential women’s correctional facility where she was serving her sentence, authorities say.

Pieper Delaney Lewis cut off her GPS ankle monitoring unit and exited the facility early Friday morning, records reviewed by Law&Crime allege.

According to a probation violation report submitted in Polk County District Court, Lewis at approximately 6:19 a.m. on Nov. 4 escaped from the Fresh Start Women’s Facility in Des Moines, Iowa.

“At approximately 6:19 AM the alarms sounded, notifying Residential Officer (RO) staff that a door had been opened. RO Porter then observed Client Lewis exiting the facility through the A-Wing door,” the report states. “On or about November 4, 2022 the Defendant cut off her GPS unit and went on the run from FSWC.”

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office was contacted about Lewis taking flight at approximately 6:29 a.m. and the Des Moines Police Department Communication Center was contacted at approximately 6:32 a.m., per the report. Her whereabouts were unknown as of Sunday afternoon.

Lewis last year pleaded guilty to one count each of voluntary manslaughter and willful injury for the June 2020 slaying of 37-year-old Zachary Brooks, whom she claimed sexually assaulted her on numerous occasions. She was 15 at the time she killed Brooks.

Polk County District Judge David M. Porter in September handed down a deferred judgement to Lewis requiring her to serve five years of probation, complete 200 hours of community service, and pay $150,000 in restitution to Brooks’ family.

As previously reported by Law&Crime, Judge Porter at Lewis’ sentencing hearing emphasized that he was concerned that the teen often failed to follow the rules while she was in criminal detention.

“This is the second chance that you’ve asked for,” he reportedly told her. “You don’t get a third.”

The deferred judgment meant that the charges could be expunged from Lewis’ record following the completion of her sentence. She faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Per the violation report, Lewis’ probation officer and residential advisor both requested that she serve prison time upon being caught.

“It is respectfully requested that that a warrant for the Defendant’s arrest be issued at this time and a probation violation hearing be set upon her apprehension,” the report states. “It is further ordered that her deferred judgments revoked and original sentence imposed.”

In her original plea agreement, Lewis reportedly said she ran away from home to get away from an unstable home life. She lived with a series of people until landing with a man who forced her to engage in sex acts with other men for pay, even signing her up on dating websites. This reportedly went on for approximately three or four months.

One of those other men was Brooks. He pumped her full of drugs and alcohol before raping her multiple times, Lewis alleged. When she realized what had happened, she said that she stabbed him to death.

Lewis said she had believed the man who forced her to have sex with other people was her boyfriend. Before that final visit to Brooks’ apartment, however, that “boyfriend” put a knife to her neck and cut her because she refused to go to Brooks’ home to pick up marijuana and be subjected to sexual abuse.

In describing the stabbing, Lewis said she planned on escaping Brooks’ home “at first light” if he passed out intoxicated, but instead, he plied her with vodka and marijuana, she said. She fell asleep and woke up to find him raping her, she said, according to the Times. Lewis said she lost consciousness.

She later “saw a box of KY Jelly and a knife with a black sheath lying on one of his night stands next to his bed.” He was “lying in his bed passed out,” she said.

“Without thinking, I immediately grabbed the knife from his night stand and began stabbing him,” Lewis continued.

Authorities did not dispute her abuse claims, but prosecutors said Brooks was sleeping when Lewis stabbed him more than 30 times, arguing that he did not impose an imminent threat to her safety.

The man who allegedly trafficked Lewis has not been charged.

Read the parole violation report here.

Alberto Luperon contributed to this report.

[image via WHO13]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.