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The GoFundMe was created by Lewis’ former math teacher, Leland Schipper, who noted on the page that the funds will be used to pay off her restitution to Brooks’ family and the state.
“Remove financial barriers for Pieper in pursuing college/university or starting her own business,” and “Give Pieper the financial capacity to explore ways to help other young victims of sex crimes.” Schipper wrote on the page.
At the request of Lewis’ attorneys, the judge reportedly granted a deferred judgment, which means her guilty plea could be expunged if she meets the terms of her probation.
At a sentencing hearing Tuesday, one of Lewis’ attorneys, Matthew Sheeley, an assistant state public defender, argued that Brooks’ estate was not entitled to any restitution.
“Legally speaking, our position was that the entry of the deferred judgment is not a conviction under the statute and therefore it does not trigger the restitution requirement,” Sheeley said in an interview Wednesday. “Now, of course, the state’s argument, I believe, is in any situation where an offender commits an offense and they receive a deferred judgment, they’re always obligated to pay restitution.”
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Sheeley said the defense also argued Tuesday “that the Legislature could not have intended a situation where, as here, the person that’s receiving the restitution actually committed a criminal offense.”
“Based on what Pieper admitted to in her guilty plea, we are confronted with a situation where she is now being ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to the estate of Zachary Brooks — the very person who she said in her guilty plea” had sexually assaulted her, Sheeley said. “So the absurdity is apparent: that she was a victim, but the law, as is being applied here, really doesn’t recognize that.”
Originally published at hollywoodunlocked.com