Simon Conway

Simon Conway

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Iowa teen sex trafficking victim to pay family of rapist $150,000? Right?

Law concept - Themis statue, judge hammer and books.

Photo: Getty Images

Her name is Pieper Lewis. She was just 15 when her abuser was raping her in a Des Moines apartment. He had done this multiple times before. That man was 37-year-old Zachary Brooks.

Pieper was a runaway who had been taken in by 28-year-old Christopher Brown who then started trafficking her to other men for sex.

The last time that Brooks raped her, Lewis grabbed a knife off a bedside table and stabbed him more than 30 times.

Yesterday she was sentenced to five years of closely supervised probation and ordered to pay $150,000 restitution to her abuser's family.

Originally prosecutors wanted to charge her with first degree murder.

In some kind of plea deal last year, the teen, now 17, agreed to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and willful injury. Both of those are subject to 10 years in prison which clearly means she could serve 20 years if she violates her probation.

Polk County District Judge David Porter said the restitution was ordered because under Iowa law, it is mandatory.

"My spirit has been burned, but still glows through the flames," she read from a prepared statement prior to her sentencing. "Hear me roar, see me glow, and watch me grow. I am a survivor."

Prosecutors objected to her describing herself as a survivor.

Is this right on any level? Should this teenager even have been charged with a crime?

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