Iowa teen who killed her alleged rapist and was sentenced to probation escaped custody

Pieper Lewis, the Iowa teen who killed a man she said raped her and was sentenced to probation and restitution to her family, escaped from a correctional facility, according to the Iowa Fifth Judicial District Department of Corrections.

Lewis “ran away from the Fresh Start Women’s Center on Friday at 6:19 a.m. after cutting off her electronic tracking device,” Jerry Evans, the district’s executive director, told CNN in an email Sunday morning. “At this time, her whereabouts are unknown.”

Officials filed a parole violation report, Evans said, recommending that her parole be revoked. “An arrest warrant was subsequently issued and remains outstanding.”

Lewis was 15 years old when she killed a man she said had raped her multiple times, CNN previously reported. He received a deferred sentence from Polk County District Judge David Porter after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter and intentional injury, and in September an Iowa judge ordered Lewis to pay his family $150,000 in restitution, as required by Iowa law.

Porter also ruled that Lewis would receive five years’ probation, complete 200 hours of community service and pay another $4,000 in civil penalties. The deferred sentence meant that it could be expunged from Lewis’s file.

The Des Moines facility Lewis escaped from is a residential correctional facility, according to the Fifth Judicial Circuit Department of Corrections website. “She accepts residents with mixed legal status,” who may be admitted “as a condition of parole or probation,” she says. The program aims to “provide a safe and holistic approach to supervision that seeks to educate, support and advocate for all women to transform their lives,” the website says.

Lewis pleaded guilty in June 2021 to the murder of Zachary Brooks, saying in the plea agreement that the 37-year-old raped her multiple times in 2020. She was initially charged with premeditated murder.