Contempt motion against Kentucky sexual assault victim dropped
The attorneys of two Kentucky boys who plead guilty to sexually assault have dropped a motion to hold their victim in contempt for publicly shaming them on the Internet.
The boys’ attorneys had asked the judge to hold 17-year-old Savannah Dietrich of Louisville in contempt for violating the confidentiality of a juvenile hearing. David Mejia, an attorney for one of the boys, told the Courier-Journal that the motion was no longer necessary because the incident had been widely reported.
“What could contempt do now?” Mejia said. “Seems like a rather useless exercise doesn’t it?”
An online petition started at Change.org had already gathered more than 82,000 signatures calling on Judge Dee McDonald to drop all charges against Dietrich. But Mejia denied that the contempt motion was dropped because of public pressure.
Dietrich had 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 of her assailants, 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Raw Story and most media outlets typically do not publish the names of juveniles and sexual assault victims.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.
Dietrich alleged she was sexually assaulted by two boys she knew after she passed out while drinking at a party in 2011. The boys plead guilty to assaulting her, photographing the incident and then sharing the pictures with others. Because the case involves minors, all details aside from the allegations Dietrich shared with the Courier-Journal are closed.
“I am so thankful for everyone supporting me,” she wrote Monday on Twitter.
With previous reporting by Jonathan Terbush