Pieper Lewis

Pieper Lewis: A Case of Probation Violation

Fred Bahnson 

In a recent development, Pieper Lewis, an individual with a controversial past, has once again avoided imprisonment despite violating her probation terms. This decision by a Polk County District judge has sparked debate and raised questions about the justice system. Let’s delve into the details surrounding Pieper Lewis’s case, her probation violation, and the consequences she now faces.

Pieper Lewis’s Case

Pieper Lewis, now 18 years old, hails from Des Moines and is a victim of sex trafficking. At the age of 15, she was involved in an incident where she killed her alleged rapist, Zachary Brooks. In the aftermath of the incident, Lewis pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and willful injury. As part of her plea agreement, she was put on probation.

Violation of Probation

Despite being on probation, Pieper Lewis found herself facing the possibility of up to 21 years in prison after violating the terms of her probation. The specific details of her violation have not been disclosed. However, it is noteworthy that Lewis’s probation officer recommended imprisonment, while Polk County Attorney Kimberly Graham suggested continuing her probation.

Judge’s Decision

District Judge David M. Porter, who had previously sentenced Lewis to probation in September 2022, once again decided against sending her to prison. Instead, he ordered her to return to probation, emphasizing that this was a continuation of her “second chance.” However, Porter made it clear that any future probation violations would result in more severe penalties.

National Attention and Controversy

Pieper Lewis’s story has garnered national attention, with many questioning her conviction for killing her alleged rapist. Supporters argue that she should not have been held responsible for her actions and question the $150,000 restitution she was ordered to pay to Zachary Brooks’s family. To express their support, one of Lewis’s former teachers initiated a GoFundMe campaign, which raised over $550,000 before being closed.

Fresh Start Women’s Center

As part of her initial sentencing, Judge Porter had deferred a 20-year prison term and instead ordered Pieper Lewis to serve five years of probation at Fresh Start Women’s Center in Des Moines. However, Lewis violated the terms of her probation by escaping from the facility, prompting Porter to revoke the deferment and suspend the sentence. She is now back on probation, albeit with increased scrutiny.


The case of Pieper Lewis continues to be a subject of debate and controversy. With her probation violation and subsequent avoidance of prison, questions arise about the justice system’s approach to cases involving individuals who have experienced trauma and violence. While some argue for more leniency and understanding, others believe in upholding the rule of law. As the story of Pieper Lewis unfolds, it remains to be seen how her future will be shaped and what impact her case will have on broader discussions surrounding criminal justice reform.