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No Contempt Charge Against Sex Assault Victim Whose Tweets Revealed Names of Juvenile Defendants

Posted Jul 23, 2012 7:55 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Updated: A 17-year-old sexual assault victim is no longer facing a possible contempt charge after she revealed the name of her alleged juvenile attackers on Twitter.

Savannah Dietrich named the two boys because she felt they were treated too leniently in a plea bargain, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. “There you go, lock me up,” Dietrich tweeted. “I’m not protecting anyone that made my life a living hell.”

The boys were accused of sexually assaulting Dietrich and taking pictures of the incident. Dietrich said the assault occurred after she drank at a party and passed out. Dietrich objects to the recommended sentence for the boys. She waived confidentiality and spoke to the Courier Journal with her parents' written consent.

Lawyers for the juveniles say Dietrich violated the confidentiality of a juvenile hearing and a court order not to speak about it, the story says, and they initially sought a contempt charge. However, after the story went viral, they withdrew the motion, according to the Courier-Journal in an update. “What could contempt do now?” asked attorney David Mejia, saying that the boys' names have already been circulated. “Seems like a rather useless exercise, doesn’t it?"

Emily Farrar-Crockett, one of Dietrich's attorneys, said “Savannah greatly appreciates the overwhelming support from all over the world, and we are pleased these defense lawyers withdrew their motion for contempt.”

The Courier-Journal reports that Dietrich's attorneys are still seeking to set aside the original gag order.

Updated at 3:47 p.m. to say that the contempt motion has been dropped and to add quotes from attorneys and a link to the new story. Updated on July 25 to add that Dietrich spoke to the newspaper with her parents' consent.

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