Savannah Dietrich won't face fine, jail for tweeting attackers' names

8:39 AM, Jul 24, 2012   |    comments
Savannah Dietrich had been frustrated by what she felt was a lenient plea bargain for the two teens who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting her and circulating pictures of the incident, so she tweeted their names and criticized the justice system last month. (By Sam Upshaw Jr., The Courier-Journal)
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By Douglas Stanglin, USA TODAY

Lawyers for two teenagers who pleaded guilty to assaulting a 17-year-old Kentucky girl have dropped their motion that she be held in contempt for tweeting her attackers' names in defiance of a court order, The Courier-Journal reports.

After the story circulated worldwide, there was no reason to continue the contempt motion. says David Mejia, an attorney for one of the boys.

"What could contempt do now?" Mejia tells the Louisville newspaper, noting that the boys' names have already been circulated far beyond the original tweet. "Seems like a rather useless exercise doesn't it?"

The newspaper, following its policies, does not identify minors in juvenile court. The assault victim, Savannah Dietrich, and her parents agreed to talk to a Courier-Journal reporter last week, saying she wanted to publicize her story.

The original court order had forbidden all parties in the case to discuss it, writes Courier-Journal reporter Jason Riley.

Savannah, however, tweeted the boys' names and criticized the justice system in frustration over what she viewed as a lenient plea bargain for the two teens who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting her and circulating pictures of the incident.

"There you go, lock me up," she tweeted. "I'm not protecting anyone that made my life a living hell."

Defense attorney Mejia said his client was accused of things he didn't do and that his privacy had been "trampled."

Savannah says she was sexually assaulted by two teen boys she knew in August 2011 after drinking at a gathering and becoming unconscious. Months later she learned that pictures of the incident had been 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, Michael, and attorneys sat nearby. "You just sit there and wonder, who saw (the pictures), who knows?"

Louisville Metro Police had charged the two juvenile defendants with first-degree sexual abuse, a felony, and misdemeanor voyeurism, according to court information, The Courier-Journal reports. The boys have not been sentenced yet.


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