A Kentucky teenager is facing contempt charges for tweeting the names of the teens who allegedly sexually assaulted her, in violation of a court order and standard confidentiality practices surrounding juvenile cases.
The 17-year old, Savannah Dietrich, told the Courier-Journal that she was upset with what she thought was an unfairly lax punishment meted out under a plea deal for the sexual assault. So, in response, Dietrich tweeted the names, saying at the same time that she did not care about the possible repercussions of that act.
“There you go, lock me up,” Savanna tweeted in naming the two boys. “I’m not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell.”
Raw Story and most media outlets typically do not publish the names of juveniles and sexual assault victims. However, Dietrich and her parents explicitly gave the Courier-Journal and others permission to use her name, saying they wanted her story to be public.
The two boys, who have yet to be sentenced, and their lawyer have asked a district court judge to hold Dietrich in contempt for violating a court order prohibiting anyone from releasing their names. Dietrich could face a $500 fine or up to 180 days in jail.
From the Courier-Journal:
“I’m at the point, that if I have to go to jail for my rights, I will do it,” she said. “If they really feel it’s necessary to throw me in jail for talking about what happened to me … as opposed to throwing these boys in jail for what they did to me, then I don’t understand justice.”
Dietrich alleges that she was sexually assaulted by two boys she knew after she passed out while drinking at a party in 2011. The boys allegedly assaulted her, photographed the incident and then shared the pictures with others. Because the case involves minors, all details aside from the allegations Dietrich shared with the Courier-Journal are closed.
Jon Terbush is a Boston-based writer whose work has appeared in Talking Points Memo, Business Insider, the New Haven Register, and elsewhere. He tweets about politics, cats, and baseball via @jonterbush.
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