17 Year Old Sexual Assault Victim Facing Contempt Charge For Naming Attackers - U2 Feedback

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Old 07-22-2012, 01:54 PM   #1
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17 Year Old Sexual Assault Victim Facing Contempt Charge For Naming Attackers

Yes the law is the law and blah blah blah...But I understand exactly why she feels that it's being deemed more important that they be protected. And I admire her courage-so much. Maybe she'd even end up with more time served than they ever will. yay for justice.

(AP)Savannah Dietrich, 17-Year-Old Sexual Assault Victim, Faces Charge For Naming Attackers

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A 17-year-old Kentucky girl who was upset by the plea deal reached by a pair of teenagers who sexually assaulted her is now facing a contempt charge for tweeting their names in violation of a court order.

The Associated Press does not normally report the names of sexual assault victims, but Dietrich and her parents say they do not want to shield her identity and want her case to be public.

The boys' attorneys have asked a judge to hold Dietrich in contempt for violating the confidentiality of a juvenile hearing and the judge's order not to speak about it.

Dietrich told the paper she was assaulted in August 2011 by two boys she knew when she passed out after drinking at a gathering. She learned months later that pictures of the assault were taken and shared with others.

"For months, I cried myself to sleep. I couldn't go out in public places," she told the newspaper, as her father and attorneys sat nearby. "You just sit there and wonder, who saw (the pictures), who knows?"

Dietrich's attorneys want her contempt hearing open to the media, arguing she has a First Amendment right to speak about her case and to a public hearing.

The boys' attorneys, however, have asked to keep the hearing closed.

The contempt charge carries a possible sentence of 180 days in jail and a $500 fine.

The boys pleaded guilty on June 26 to first-degree sexual abuse and misdemeanor voyeurism. Dietrich says she was unaware of a plea agreement until just before it was announced in court.

She could not say what the proposed punishment was because of the court order, but said she feels like it was a slap on the wrist.

The teens are to be sentenced next month, and the judge could reject or modify the terms of the proposed agreement.

When Judge Dee McDonald admonished everyone at the hearing not to speak about what happened in court or about the crime, Dietrich said she cried.

"They got off very easy ... and they tell me to be quiet, just silencing me at the end," she said.

Afterwards Dietrich tweeted, "They said I can't talk about it or I'll be locked up. ....Protect rapist is more important than getting justice for the victim in Louisville."

David Marburger, an Ohio media law specialist, said Dietrich should have tried to get the courts to vacate the gag order rather than simply violating it.

But Gregg Leslie, interim executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said Dietrich should "not be legally barred from talking about what happened to her. That's a wide-ranging restraint on speech."

Leslie said this sort of issue is becoming more common.

"In the past, people would complain to anyone who would listen, but they didn't have a way to publish their comments where there would be a permanent record, like on Facebook and Twitter, for people to see worldwide," he said.

Dietrich said she just needed to stand up for herself. "I'm at the point that if I have to go to jail for my rights, I will do it."

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Old 07-23-2012, 05:54 AM   #2
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I used to think of the courts as an institution where the wronged could go for justice, for protection. I'm not that stupid any more. (I come from the town where the judges sold kids for cash, sentenced kids for minor nothings and sent them to juvenile detention centers, from which they received cash) Courts never were much about justice. I just fell for the bullshit.

And yeah, I think this is a free speech. People have the right to scream out about the injustice done to them. Nobody should have the authority to tell them to be quiet when someone has hurt them. Even if it was a juvenile. Keeping quiet lets all this go on.

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Old 07-23-2012, 02:01 PM   #3
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While I'm for her being punished for it, as she did break the law, I still say 'good for her.'

The gag order only serves to protect the goons that did this, which is some bullshit right there. Oh, we can't let their reputations be destroyed! Maybe they should have thought of that before they ruined the victim's reputation.
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:31 PM   #4
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If there is no doubt these are the people responsible for this attack on her, then yeah, they should be called out in every means possible. The details of their punishment aren't very clear, but it doesn't sound like it's a very tough one. So if they're going to be out on the streets again soon, I think she's doing a service by alerting the public just who these guys are and what they did.

If you commit a crime, your precious "reputation" being hurt is the last thing you should be worrying about.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:56 AM   #5
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The boys' attorneys dropped the contempt charge. Still possible the prosecutors could file one separately, but that's unlikely.

I'm not unsympathetic to the boys' attorneys; I think the idea that juveniles' higher rehabilitative potential and lesser degree of culpability warrants protecting their identities is, in general, a pretty sound one. But it sounds like the gag order may have been an overreach here anyway, since what was revealed came from the victim's own knowledge, not the reading of the court record?
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