Support that continues to grow. On Thursday, donations poured into an online kitty, opened to help a young American woman sentenced to pay $150,000 to the relatives of a man she accuses of having raped her on numerous occasions, in a context of forced prostitution, and that she killed.
The case of Pieper Lewis, 17, has moved in the United States, where minors exploited by pimps struggle to assert their status as victims in the courts. “A raped child should never, under any circumstances, owe money to the family of her rapist,” wrote one of her former teachers, Leland Schipper, who opened this kitty.
A “morally unjustifiable” law
According to her account, and that of the local media, the girl had found herself on the streets at the age of 15 and had been taken in by a man who had forced her to have paid sex. In 2020 in Des Moines, in the north of the United States, she had stabbed a thirty-something who paid to rape her, as she related. Initially charged with murder, the girl pleaded guilty to manslaughter and faced 20 years in prison.
The police and the prosecutor do not dispute the fact that the minor was the victim of sexual exploitation. On Tuesday, a judge decided to give him “a second chance”, by retaining a suspended prison sentence. Concretely, if she respects the conditions of her release for five years, her record will become empty again. But under a law in force in the state of Iowa, which obliges to compensate the relatives of homicide victims, the magistrate condemned her to pay 150,000 dollars to the family of the man she killed.
Denouncing a “morally unjustifiable” law, Leland Schipper then opened a kitty on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe. Donations, often $20 to $50, quickly exceeded the set amount. The sum collected amounted to more than 386,000 dollars on Thursday afternoon. In a postscript, the teacher specifies that the additional funds will finance the studies of the young girl.