Girl Who Tweeted The Names Of Her Rapists Faces Jail Time [UPDATED]

    July 23, 2012
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

As we’ve seen in the past, social media can add some complications to the normal flow of legal proceedings. In recent months, we’ve seen court cases wind up declared mistrials because of the social media activity of jury members.

Now, it’s the alleged victim in a legal case that’s taking heat for her Twitter activity. Seventeen-year-old Savannah Dietrich of Louisville, Kentucky is facing up to 180 days in jail and $500 fine for a series of tweets she made regarding an open case.

The Courier Journal reports that Dietrich, who was reportedly the subject of a sexual assault where two young men violated her while she was under the influence and then circulated photos of the event, was upset about what she felt was the unfair plea bargain that the two men received.

She took to Twitter, where she named the two boys that allegedly assaulted her, saying,

“There you go, lock me up. I’m not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell.”

Another tweet read: “Protect rapist is more important than getting justice for the victim in Louisville.”

The two boys’ attorneys want the trial Judge to hold Dietrich in contempt, as she has violated a court order to keep confidentiality.

The defendants have both already plead guilty, but received what amounts to a “slap on the wrist,” according to Dietrich. “So many of my rights have been taken away by these boys. I’m at the point, that if I have to go to jail for my rights, I will do it. 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.”

Two different Facebook pages have already been set up in support of Dietrich. “Savannah Dietrich is a victim of Sexual Assault, upon doing the right thing and naming the men who assaulted her, she is being wrongfully punished. Please spread the word,” reads the page Help Savannah Dietrich.

There’s also a petition on popular online petition site Change.org. They are calling on the Kentucky District Court Judge on the case to dismiss the charges of Dietrich for tweeting the names of her attackers.

It reads:

She tweeted the names of her attackers anyway, likely feeling that it is wrong for anyone to get away for what they did to her. Now, she may face jail time for “contempt” because she stated who attacked her. Her punishment may be up to 180 days in jail and a $500 fine. This girl has already been traumatized and abused by her attackers. Now they want to violate her rights and ability to control her body again by putting her in prison, and the twisted laws are on their side.

Please sign to tell Judge Dee McDonald, stand with rape victims, not their attackers. For too long, rape and assault have gone unreported and un prosecuted. Please do not send Savannah to jail for standing up for herself.

Whether or not your think that Dietrich was right in her actions or that she violated the law, the only thing that’s certain is that cases like this are only going to increase as more and more people have access to public forums like Facebook and Twitter.

UPDATE: As of Monday afternoon, defense attorneys for the two boys have withdrawn the motion to hold Dietrich in contempt for tweeting their clients’ names. Since the names have already been tweeted, one defense attorney told the Courier Journal, ““What could contempt do now? Seems like a rather useless exercise doesn’t it?”

  • Steve G

    I don’t understand why the prosecution even bothered to take a plea deal when the evidence was pretty much concrete. I mean basically it’s setting the stage for minors to commit crimes and tell the prosecution they’ll plead guilty for a lesser sentence, and so anytime there is a case involving a minor where they defense knows the evidence is pretty much clearly against the client, they’ll opt for a plea deal. I can see a plea deal when the evidence is circumstantial and the defendant might still have a chance at being found guilty, but this case looked pretty much open and shut to me. I hope the judge throws out the plea deal and throws the book at these boys to set an example to all minors that’s it’s not ok to abuse the judicial system when the evidence clearly points to them as being guilty.

  • Brad

    Lol. She did the right thing by naming her assailants? Wow. Woooow.

    So inviting people to do what they will with names of people who rape someone shouldn’t be punished? Based on the seriousness and reaction of most people to rape, these two could easily be hurt.

    And don’t say “Hurt? Like they hurt her?” Fuck that mentality. An eye for an eye is ridiculous

  • http://taskarmy.com Jessica

    So what this is saying is that if you’re the victim just don’t say anything especially if the case is on trial? With situation such as this, you’re now giving more reasons for victims to stay silent. Not fair.

  • Michael James Slattery

    There is no law.
    There are haves and have nots.
    This Internet thing is a new reality that must overrule the physical reality as our value/control system is virtual now.

    Want to save the world from this new neo-feudal system?

    Learn what the word collateral is – then go git sum and put it in a safe place only you know.

  • lady t

    lets get pictures of these bitches!