Judge again sentences 18 year old who killed alleged rapist to probation, not prison

DES MOINES — A human trafficking victim who pleaded guilty to killing a man she said raped her when she was 15 has again been placed on probation at a residential facility.

Last November, Pieper Lewis cut off her ankle monitor and left a transitional women’s center in Des Moines without permission. Polk County Judge David Porter told Lewis she’s now been convicted of two felony offenses.

“Miss Lewis, I indicated to you last year — you’ve asked for a second chance, you don’t get a third. I stand by that,” he said. “There are consequences for your actions.”

Lewis could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. Polk County Attorney Kimberly Graham said she agrees with the judge’s decision to keep Lewis out of prison.

“My gut instinct and based on my conversation with Miss Pieper Lewis is that she has learned from what has happened,” Graham said, “and that she is more willing than she has been to listen to those around her.”

The judge did revoke the deferred judgment he issued a year ago. It means two felony convictions will remain on Lewis’ record after she completes five years of probation. The case drew national attention after Lewis was ordered to pay restitution to the family of the man she says raped her.

The Iowa Department of Corrections recommended that Lewis be sentenced to prison after her escape.