She Escaped Custody After Being Detained For Killing Her Rapist

bird in a cage
Zain Murdock
November 23, 2022

Before contributors raised over half a million dollars for Pieper Lewis’ restitution fees, the judge who ordered her five years probation said he was granting her a “second chance.” He made it clear there wouldn’t be a third.

Still during her detainment at Fresh Start Women’s Center, Lewis, who drew national attention for killing her rapist at 15, escaped.

Upon hearing the news, many on social media wished for her freedom, safety, and protection. 

Days later, she was captured.

After being booked into the Polk County Jail, Lewis awaited a probation hearing. 

But that proceeding only set an evidentiary hearing date for January 18. And worst-case scenario? The judge could sentence her to decades in prison. 

This is problematic on so many levels.

If  the criminal legal system was truly meant to protect and rehabilitate us, why does it create more violence and trauma instead of preventing it? 

And given Lewis’ circumstances, isn’t wanting to flee the misery of incarceration inevitable?

The criminal legal system has patronized, dehumanized, and villainized survivors of sexual violence. We must refuse to let this system make Pieper Lewis, and countless others like her, disappear.

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