The Iowa teenager who escaped a women’s center last week where she was serving a probation sentence after pleading guilty to killing a man she said raped her is back in custody, authorities said.
Pieper Lewis, 18, was booked into custody on charges of probation violation and escape from custody around 2 p.m. Tuesday, Lt. Ryan Evans at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office told NBC News.
She was arrested in Des Moines by a Fifth Judicial Circuit task force, Evans added.
More information on how or where she was found, or how she escaped, was not immediately available.
If Lewis had successfully completed five years of closely supervised probation, her prison sentence would have been expunged.
Prosecutors are now requesting a hearing to have Lewis’ probation revoked, which could lead to a requirement that she serve the full 20-year sentence, NBC affiliate WHO of Des Moines reported.
Lewis was seen walking out of the building at the Fresh Start Women’s Center in Des Moines shortly after 6:15 a.m. Friday, and at some point that day her GPS monitor was cut off, according to a probation violation report.
Prosecutors had called the probation sentence she was given in September merciful for a teen who endured horrible abuse, although some questioned the $150,000 restitution she was ordered to pay. A GoFundMe campaign raised over $560,000 to cover the restitution and pay for her other needs.
Polk County Judge David Porter told Lewis in September that her probation sentence “was the second chance you asked for. You don’t get a third,” the Des Moines Register reported.
Lewis pleaded guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter and willful injury in the June 2020 killing of 37-year-old Zachary Brooks, a married father of two. Lewis was 15 when she stabbed Brooks more than 30 times in a Des Moines apartment.
Lewis has said that she was trafficked against her will to Brooks for sex multiple times and stabbed him in a fit of rage. Police and prosecutors did not dispute that Lewis was sexually assaulted and trafficked.
NBC News and The Associated Press do not typically name victims of sexual assault, but Lewis agreed to have her name used previously in stories about her case.