Savannah Dietrich, 17-Year-Old Sexual Assault Victim, Ruined Attacker's Life, Lawyer Says

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Normal Savannah Dietrich, 17-Year-Old Sexual Assault Victim, Ruined Attacker's Life, Lawyer Says

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:47 pm

Posted: 08/21/2012 5:28 pm Updated: 08/21/2012 7:44 pm













Savannah Dietrich named her attackers on Twitter, ruining at least one of their lives, a lawyer says.
Savannah Dietrich, a Kentucky teenager who was sexually assaulted and then threatened with jail for naming her attackers, has reportedly destroyed the life of at least one of the perpetrators.

"He's had to move," David Mejia, the attorney for one of the attackers, told The Huffington Post. "He has lost all the potential that was there. He was attending high school and was kicked out. He was on course to a scholarship to an Ivy League school to play sports and that may be jeopardized. He's in therapy. He's just overwhelmed and devastated by what started from the conduct of this young girl saying false things as she did."

Mejia filed a contempt motion against Dietrich in July. She had tweeted the names of two teenage boys who assaulted her back in August 2011.

After naming the boys, Dietrich, then 16, tweeted, "I'm not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell."

Dietrich's anger stemmed from a June hearing in which the teenagers confessed to felony sexual abuse and misdemeanor voyeurism. She and her family were reportedly frustrated by the plea bargain the boys made with the state.

"If reporting a rape only got me to the point that I'm not allowed to talk about it, then I regret it," Dietrich wrote on Facebook. "I regret reporting it."

Mejia said that he and his client were angry about the posts and that Dietrich was not entirely honest.

"The victim, in a fit of anger, tweets my clients name, calls him a rapist -- something he was never accused of -- and said the court system was corrupt and he got away with what he did," Mejia said. "She also said he videotaped her and put it on Internet. There never was a rape, there was no video and there was nothing on the Internet. But he did admit to the conduct as charged which was criminal sexual abuse or touching."

The two boys charged were juveniles, and the court therefore kept the details of the case confidential.

Dietrich, now 17, told ABC's "Nightline" what happened the night she was assaulted in an interview Monday.

She said she was drinking with friends when she passed out. When she later awoke, she discovered her clothes were disheveled and felt like "something wasn't right."

"I had my dress back on but my bra was shifted all weird and then my underwear was off," Dietrich told "Nightline" host Juju Chang.

After the party, Dietrich said she was told the two boys had taken photos of her.

"They told me that it was me on the kitchen floor, passed out, my eyes are closed," she said. "My clothes are -- I'm exposed. Someone said one boy had his arm broken at the time and said his cast was in the picture."

The details of the punishment the boys ultimately received is unknown, since court records have been witheld.

"Due to the confidentiality and privacy of the whole thing I am constrained except to say that what she is saying is a mischaracterization. It's not accurate. It's not true. What is the truth? That I cannot say," Mejia said.

In the motion Mejia filed, he requested that Dietrich be held in contempt for violating the confidentiality of a juvenile. Dietrich could have faced 180 days in jail, but Mejia said that was not he wanted. The motion, he said, was not to punish Dietrich, but to have a judge force her to delete her online posts about the boys.

"I was hoping she would even have some remorse or an apology to give. That didn't happen," Mejia said Monday on ABC's "Nightline."

The veteran attorney echoed those remarks during an interview with HuffPost.

"When we filed the motion, we wanted our client's names off the Internet and wanted her to know that what she was doing was wrong," he said. "[She should] acknowledge what she's done, remove the name and promise not to do it again."

But the motion prompted a flurry of national media attention and was quickly withdrawn. According to Mejia, canceling the motion did nothing to stop the influx of hate messages he and his client received.

"Everybody got hate letters and worse for this young boy -- this high school kid was getting tweets, Facebook [messages], all kinds of terrible things. He even got death threats," the lawyer said.

Dietrich told "Nightline" she identified her attackers because she felt like their punishment was a slap on the wrist. "I was upset," Dietrich said. "I felt like they got less than the minimal punishment ... I knew that they were manipulating the system to silence me."

Mejia said that his client is devastated and would like to move on with his life, but that the Internet has made that impossible.

"I think it's rather astonishing how the Internet changes everything," he said. "Look at [Rep. Todd Akin], the politician from Missouri who was on the news a few days ago and made a comment about 'legitimate rape.' Those comments have now gone viral and he is ruined. Twenty years ago it would not have happened like this. These things just stream with enormous speed across the whole country."

Dietrich's attorney, Emily Farrar-Crockett, did not return a call for comment from HuffPost on Tuesday. Speaking on "Nightline" Monday, she was unsympathetic to Mejia's complaints.

"They took the pictures, they disseminated it, they told people about what they had done. To come back and blame her now for ruining their reputation I think is despicable. They did this to themselves," Farrar-Crockett said.

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Normal Re: Savannah Dietrich, 17-Year-Old Sexual Assault Victim, Ruined Attacker's Life, Lawyer Says

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:44 am

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Normal Re: Savannah Dietrich, 17-Year-Old Sexual Assault Victim, Ruined Attacker's Life, Lawyer Says

Post by lisette on Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:47 pm

From Wrap's link above:
Last week, Mejia defended his client and described the boy's actions to HuffPost as "touching."

Mejia's characterization brought a sharp rebuttal from Dietrich, who called it "insulting."

"It was much more severe than touching," she told HuffPost.

Bisig clarified in her ruling what happened during Dietrich's assault. Bisig wrote that the boys "penetrated her vagina with their fingers" when Dietrich passed out from drinking and "took pictures with their cellphones."

A little more that just "touching", I'd say!!!
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Normal Teens sentenced in sex assault-Twitter case in Ky.

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:49 am

By BRETT BARROUQUERE | Associated Press – Fri, Sep 14, 2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A judge sentenced two Kentucky teenagers on Friday to community service and sex offender treatment for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl who later identified her attackers on Twitter.

Savannah Dietrich posted the boys' names on Twitter despite a gag order because she thought the initial plea deal in June was too lenient. She said she also was unaware a deal had been reached until just before it was announced.

Jefferson County District Judge Angela McCormick Bisig slightly altered the initial deal, saying the pair, now 17 years old, may seek to have the sexual assault charges reduced when they are 21. The previous agreement expunged their record automatically before they turned 20.
The judge also ordered them to surrender the names of anyone who saw semi-nude photos of an unconscious Dietrich, something she had wanted all along. The teens said the assault occurred after a night of drinking in August 2011.


After the judge announced the sentence, a composed Dietrich said she was satisfied and will walk away a smarter person. She doubted her attackers understand the impact of their actions.

"I'm not sure it meant anything to them," Dietrich said. "I hope one day they'll understand the situation."

The Associated Press does not generally identify victims of sexual assault, but Dietrich and her parents wanted her story public. The names of the two attackers have not been disclosed because the case has been handled in juvenile court.

During the hearing, Dietrich said she considered suicide after the assault.

"I was in so much pain, death seemed like a friendly thought to me," she said.

The assault gained public attention when Dietrich tweeted the names of the boys against a judge's orders not to discuss the case. Defense attorneys had asked a judge to consider a contempt charge for Dietrich, but dropped their request.

Juvenile proceedings in Kentucky are normally closed to the public, but The Courier-Journal successfully fought to open the case and the court records.

On Friday, Dietrich read from a statement for more than 15 minutes as her attackers sat at a table, one looking down; the other staring straight ahead. Neither spoke publicly during the proceeding.

Dietrich at times addressed her attackers directly. At other times, her hands visibly shaking, Dietrich faced the judge and unleashed her frustrations about the case.

"I couldn't even cry myself to sleep," Dietrich said. "I hardly got any sleep."

Dietrich said she only wanted an apology and a list of people who were shown the partially-nude photos of her taken the night of the assault.
When she got neither, Dietrich said, she went to the police and filed the criminal case. After that, Dietrich said, the two boys and their families began badmouthing her to friends and family members.

"Not only would you not own up to and admit to your actions, you blamed me," Dietrich said.

Assistant County Attorney Julie Hardesty told Dietrich during closing arguments that she was brave for reporting the attack and going through with the prosecution.

"We have admired your strength and we have admired your poise," Hardesty said.

In interviews with Louisville Metro Police in February, the two boys told detectives that they were drinking with Dietrich and a few other people at her home last August when they were left alone with the heavily intoxicated teen.

They told police they assaulted Dietrich because "we thought it would be funny, but it wasn't."

Chris Klein, the attorney for one of the attackers, read a letter his client wrote, apologizing and acknowledging what he did was wrong.
"I still can't believe I was foolish enough to use such bad judgment," Klein read from the letter.

Both teens were students at the all-boys Trinity High School in Louisville at the time of the assault. Attorneys said both now attend other schools. One of the teens has since moved with his family to a new neighborhood.

David Mejia, the attorney for the other teen, said his client feels bad about the assault, but didn't send the photos to anyone. Since the plea became public, Mejia said, his client has faced death threats.

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