Savannah Dietrich’s parents say they do not want their daughter’s identity shielded. Savannah, 17-years-old, was raped by two teenage boys, who took photos, and then shared them with someone(s). The attackers pleaded guilty to first degree “sexual abuse” and “misdemeanor voyeurism.” Looks much better on police records than “rape,” which is the charge. Ms. Dietrich’s attorneys accepted a plea agreement with Defense Attorneys. Dietrich was not consulted, and found out minutes before it was announced in court. The Judge issued a gag order about the incident. Outraged, Savannah tweeted the names of her teenager rapists, but no details of the actual attack. The Defense Attorneys want to hold her in contempt of court, fine her and put her behind bars: (see important UPDATES below) – MOST IMPORTANT UPDATE: See the names of the two rapists here.
“There you go, lock me up,” [she] tweeted, as she named the boys who she said sexually assaulted her. “I’m not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell.”…
…the attorneys for the boys have asked a Jefferson District Court judge to hold her in contempt because they say that in naming her attackers, she violated the confidentiality of a juvenile hearing and the court’s order not to speak of it.
A contempt charge carries a potential sentence of up to 180 days in jail and a $500 fine.
“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.” Source: Outside The Beltway
Apparently Ms. Dietrich’s attorneys were distracted, maybe a text came in or they were playing Angry Birds:
When Judge Dee McDonald admonished everyone at the hearing not to speak about what happened in court or about the crime, Dietrich said she cried.
‘They got off very easy… and they tell me to be quiet, just silencing me at the end,’ she said.
Afterwards Miss Dietrich tweeted, ‘They said I can’t talk about it or I’ll be locked up… Protect rapist is more important than getting justice for the victim in Louisville.’
David Marburger, an Ohio media law specialist, said Dietrich should have tried to get the courts to vacate the gag order rather than simply violating it.
She’s 17. How would she know without her counsel guiding her? And where are her First Amendment Rights, and who is standing for them?
The Volokh Conspiracy believes the Judge’s order barring the rape victim from outing the names of her rapists is “clearly unconstitutional,” even though everyone involved are juveniles…
[She] revealed what she knew even before the trial — the names of her attackers — and that they are juveniles cannot strip her of her First Amendment rights on this score. And while she also revealed that they got a plea bargain, something she presumably learned through the court proceedings, that strikes me as the sort of information about the court system and the prosecutor’s office that the state cannot stop people from revealing.
…she seems to have violated the court order, rather than challenging it when it was entered. (All this is based on what I read in the newspaper story, which I realize may not be fully accurate.) Under Walker v. City of Birmingham (1967), a person generally is not allowed to violate even an unconstitutional court order; he must challenge it on appeal (or via a similar procedure, such as mandamus), or abide by it. But even that “collateral bar” rule has an exception for “transparently invalid” court orders, and it seems to me this exception applies here. And in any event, the collateral bar rule can’t justify the judge’s decision in issuing this order.
The Defense Attorneys won, at least for their guilty clients. They got their deviant “boys,” off with little punishment (and we don’t know what the punishment is, if there was one, because of the gag order). The names are already out there. What’s wrong with these DA’s? They can’t change the notches on their court losses, so why not leave her alone and tell the filthy little morons to shut-up, grow up or be ready to spend the rest of their lives in prison for the next offense? That’s the best advice attorneys could give the monsters who are probably about 6′ tall and meaner than hell. It’s almost enough to make me wish it on the daughter of the DA – almost, not quite.
UPDATES 7-23-12 10:05 am CDT: The name of one of Ms. Dietrich’s attorneys is Emily Farrar-Crockett, a public defender in the Juvenile Division.
Farrar-Crockett said Dietrich looked at the laws of confidentiality before she tweeted and “tried not to violate what she believed the law to be,” not tweeting about what happened in court or was in court records.
But as mentioned in my article, it appears Farrar-Crockett did not try to get the gag order amended or vacated.
David Marburger, an Ohio media law specialist, said even if the judge is limiting freedom of speech with an order, “it doesn’t necessarily free you from that order. You have to respect the order and get the judge to vacate the order or get a higher court to restrain the judge from enforcing the order.”
Judge Dee McDonald has not ruled on a motion to allow the newspaper to see the motions filed by attorneys for Dietrich, but she denied a reporter access to a hearing earlier this month where an attorney for the newspaper made an initial motion to intervene in the case.
Savannah’s Twitter account, which revealed the names of the heathens, has been closed.
So, we have a female attorney who did not protect her client, and the name “Dee” is usually a female name – so, a female Judge who had three minor in her court and protected only the criminals.
The attorneys for the cretins are Chris Klein and David Mejia (no firm name mentioned).