Listen to this article here
A GoFundMe for the Iowa teen ordered to pay $150,000 to the family of the rapist she killed has raised over $450,000 in two days.
Pieper Lewis was sentenced by an Iowa judge Tuesday for the 2020 stabbing of her rapist when she was only 15-years-old. Judge David Porter sentenced Pieper to five years of closely watched probation, serve 200 hours of community service, and pay $150,000 in restitution to her rapist’s family, including more than $4,000 in civil penalties.
Iowa law requires the court to sentence offenders to pay at least $150,000 in restitution if they kill another person, which Judge Porter reiterated in his ruling.
“This court is presented with no other option,” Porter said.
News Of Required $150,000 Restitution Payment Angers Many
Once news of Pieper’s required restitution payment hit the internet, people were upset at the system that would require a victim to pay her rapist’s family.
Pieper’s former math teacher, Leland Schipper, did not think it was right that a victim of rape and sex trafficking should be responsible for paying restitution, so she set up a GoFundMe to assist Pieper.
“A child who was raped, under no circumstances, should owe the rapist’s family money,” Schipper said.
“Pieper does not owe that man’s family justice. Pieper does not deserve to be financially burdened for the rest of her life because the state of Iowa wrote a law that fails to give judges any discretion as to how it is applied. This law doesn’t make sense in many cases, but in this case, it’s morally unjustifiable.”
The GoFundMe’s original goal of $150,000 was quickly reached, and then pushed to $200,000 as donations continued to pour in.
“I have increased the goal and will continue accepting donations above the 200k if we get to that point,” the campaign said.
At the time of publication on Friday afternoon, the campaign had over $467,000 in donations. Schipper said the funds will be used to:
- Pay off Piepers 150k restitution
- Pay off the additional 4k in restitution to the state
- Remove financial barriers for Pieper in pursuing college/university or starting her own business.
- Give Pieper the financial capacity to explore ways to help other young victims of sex crimes!
Pieper’s lawyers have said they’ll need to look into whether the donations can legally be used for the purpose of paying off the restitution. Either way, people all over the country have shown their support of Pieper as she moves forward in life.
To view Pieper’s GoFundMe campaign, click here.