45 votes

17-year-old sexual assault victim could face charges for tweeting names of attackers

Personally I believe she has every right to tell the whole world who did this to her and expose those responsible for everyone to see


"A Kentucky girl who was sexually assaulted could face contempt of court charges after she tweeted the names of her juvenile attackers.

Savannah Dietrich, the 17-year-old victim, was frustrated by a plea deal reached late last month by the two boys who assaulted her, and took to Twitter to expose them--violating a court order to keep their names confidential.

"There you go, lock me up," Dietrich tweeted after naming the perpetrators. "I'm not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell." Her Twitter account has since been closed.

Attorneys for the attackers asked a Jefferson District Court judge to hold Dietrich in contempt for lashing out on Twitter. She could face up to 180 days in jail and a $500 fine if convicted. The boys have yet to be sentenced for the August 2011 attack.

"So many of my rights have been taken away by these boys," Dietrich told Louisville's Courier-Journal. "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."

Dietrich was assaulted by the pair after passing out at a party. They later shared photos of the assault with friends."


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I have a question

Where are all the 'Rule of law, not rule of men' supporters chiming in on this one? After all, this girl violated the law, and as all the 'Rule of law' supporters know, the law is much more important than what all you people want, right? The law is far more important and sacrosanct than someone's rights, Right?

Food for thought is all I'm asking the questions above for. I fully support the right of the victim to make the identities of her assailants and whatever details of the attack known that she wishes to.

God in heaven, please help

God in heaven, please help us. The inmates are apparently now running the asylum. This story is just insane. We are protecting the guilty and turning the force of law against the victim. Unbelievable.

Larry in North Carolina
The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men and women to not support Ron Paul!

Sometimes ya just gotta do whatcha gotta do

Good for her....take the jail time and tell 'em to stuff it! The law is an ass!



You can't get clean in a dirty bathtub.

the attorneys

already dropped the contempt motion - maybe they after the public outrage finaly learned the relevant federal statutes which can put them behind bars for quite long and realized that it can turn really bad for them - which still can, because the dammage adding insult to injury was already demonstrably done - so the best for them would be now pretend they don't exist, before the girl's attorneys get angry and read the statutes too.

somethings not adding up

What prosecuter would let them plea if they have pictures of it? In my state they are required to pursue these cases even if they think the accuser has no merit. This happen to a friend who had an alibi, but they were going to have to bring it to trial because the girl insisted. Eventually the prosecutor, detective and her parents convinced her not to continue. She had changed her story 3 times.

I'm not going to pretend to know the details or pass judgement without hearing detailed arguments but i could see her going out for revenge after getting too drunk and then shamed or embarrassed. It wouldn't be the first time

Prosecutors do plea deals

Prosecutors do plea deals because they are lazy and it's fast and easy BY FAR compared to a trial.

They often coerce victims into accepting this as the proper thing to do.

I've seen this first hand, even things like "you know, this robbery isn't serious enough and we're just not going to bother because these guys are known to us and the prosecutors won't do anything". It happens EVERY DAY.

Good for her for outing them. These kids should be beaten to the pont that it takes them several years to recover and see how they like it.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty." - Thomas Jefferson
"Annoyance is step one of thinking"
"We're all in the same boat, it doesn't matter if you like me"

You are correct, prosecutors

You are correct, prosecutors use plea bargains because they are lazy and they don't want to risk a conviction failure on their record.

Another reason they use plea bargains is because it allows them to coerce a defendant into giving up their right to a trial. The common practice is to stack as many charges as they can in order to inflate the amount of possible time and then offer 50% of the time which looks pretty good to many defendants.

Plea bargains should be eliminated. In this case it appears to have violated the victim. But in many cases, it violates the accused.

Our justice system is no where near as great as they would like us to believe it is.

no way jose

That might be a small part of it. Its obvious a plea is more efficient than a trial and is the reason for adding 15 charges to one crime. But when the charge is rape what else so they stack on? Sodomy? Once again, in my state, plea deal is not an option for prosecutors when victim wamts to pursue rape charges. Perhaps its different in ky but i suspect the plea deal is related to the quality of evidence. DA is not risking a conviction record with a slam-dunk case

Yeah, I think it should be

Yeah, I think it should be illegal to charge someone with less than what they did, for one thing. It completely inverts the double jeopardy principle by ensuring that a person can never be charged for their ACTUAL crime.

For another thing, every state should adopt mandatory minimums, thoughtful ones, but it is NOT justice when one person is doing life for murder and another is out in 5.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty." - Thomas Jefferson
"Annoyance is step one of thinking"
"We're all in the same boat, it doesn't matter if you like me"

Vigilantism or Libertarianism?

Vigilantism: One who takes or advocates the taking of law enforcement into one's own hands
It is indeed ironic that in a forum such as this, where we would hope that all would follow the lead of Ron Paul and recognize that in the name of Liberty we MUST follow the Constitution and the Rule of Law, that so many comments are suggesting just the opposite!
Of course it is terrible what happened to this girl (and to any person who is a victim of crime).
Of course anyone CONVICTED of such a crime should be punished in accordance with the law of the cognizant jurisdiction.
But let us all follow the Constitutional mandates and the law of the jurisdiction in question. If the law does not meet with our approval, then let us CHANGE the law IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULE OF LAW. Otherwise, vigilantism will result - not Liberty.
Skip Marshall

This girl

shone a light on the scurrying cockroaches trying to hide what they did. That was why the gag order, probably because they were minors.
The boys had no problem recording their evil and bragging about it, why so shy about it now???
Good for her. That said, this is a cautionary tale for women. Don't deliberately make yourself defenseless.

what law?

All this case looks like it is about rights v. judicial order - not a law. Moreover about a judicial order most probably exceeding power and made most probably somehow within the framework of a plea deal between state and accused, who notabene pleaded guilty and where the victim is not even a side. The court has no bussiness to issue any free speech restraint order against a victim-wittness and even less has the power to pursue any charges for its violation. A judge has no such legal power - has no jurisdiction if you want, never had such a jurisdiction and never can have such jurisdiction because is bound by the constitution.
One not only can take his rights into his/her hands, but should do it if he/she want to ever have liberty to exercise such rights.
The fact that somebody is a "law enforcement" does mean somebody to enforce a law, not a whatever illegal order under colour of law against rights you must obey otherwise you'll become a criminal. Such "law enforcement" would be a perpetration of federal crime.

Up yours

I'm suggesting she take the jail time. Sometimes you need to stand up to a bad law. That does NOT contradict libertarianism...it upholds the principle. Go away if you can't figure out liberty. By your argument all the founders shoulda hanged. Idiot!



You can't get clean in a dirty bathtub.

Watching Too Much "Western" Propaganda

isn't healthy ... Apparently, you'd equate the use of lethal force in defense of one's self as "vigilantism". ;)

It is indeed ironic that in a

It is indeed ironic that in a forum such as this, where we would hope that all would follow the lead of Ron Paul and recognize that in the name of Liberty we MUST follow the Constitution and the Rule of Law, that so many comments are suggesting just the opposite!

With these words, you presume far too much.

To begin with, many of us are here not merely to "follow the lead of Ron Paul," but to advance the cause of liberty. He is certainly its most effective advocate right now, but we are not collectively his mere shadow.

"In the name of Liberty we MUST..." It is ironic indeed that, in an effort at highlighting irony in this forum, you start off a sentence this way. I was tickled by this boomerang irony.

But more to the point, finishing that quote, you say: "in the name of Liberty we MUST follow the Constitution and the Rule of Law."

For many of us, getting back to the constitution is but a starting point. I know I'm not the only one in here who carries in him still the spirit of the anti-federalists... In this way, the Constitution is not the embodiment or epitome of liberty, demanding our unquestioning loyalty. In fact, it is, by all accounts, the foundation of a system destined to facilitate tyranny couched in the facade of freedom. Its inclusion of an eminent domain provision, as one example among many, shows that at many turns it is antithetical to true liberty.

"But let us all follow the Constitutional mandates and the law of the jurisdiction in question." I disagree. I believe we should all defend our natural rights to the extent we believe is warranted and/or practical, even if that goes against the beloved 'constitutional mandates' (which is yet another ironic term to use favorably as a libertarian; unless it is I who presume too much, and rather than a libertarian, you are actually a constitutionalist?)

excellent answer

I would add the Constitution is there not for us to follow it, it is there for feds and States to follow it (that's their contract and the people are there only like the third party constituting the States) and their "constituional mandates" are limited and it is prohibited to construe them to violate not only the natural rights, but rights retained by the people in general, where the free speech as a legal right falls under. The 9th Amendment does recognize rights retained by the people without an adjective - including natural rights or legal rights or divine righs or whatever rights we can imagine and assert and the right to use the constitutional mandates shouldn't be construed to deny or disparage this peoples rights. (and on the other hand the mandates can deny or disparage the rights of the legal persons, because the legal persons obviously aren't people)

The boys are legally minors...

But they didn't act like minors, and so should not have protective rights of minors.

"Know what you know, know what you don't know, and understand and appreciate the distinction."


in my opinion

the perpetrators who already pleaded guilty in a case of violent crime shouldn't have any protection against non-violent infringement of their rights - either minors or adults. In a jail there they also care about non-processual rights only maybe like a privileges - if you behave. One did a violent crime, especially against defenceless girl? - then must expect that for some years one wouldn't have any much rights - and a rapist would be glad if surviving.

people need to defend their rights without remorse

And the publicity clearly IS the way.
Bravo S. Dietrich for exemplary standing for your rights!
What the linked article at Yahoo doesn't say is that the motion against Dietrich was already withdrawn.
But the dammage of a criminal kind to S. Dietrich was anyway done.
If the girl really wants to defend rights I would on her place now consider filling criminal charges against the attackers attorneys for federal felonies Conspiracy Against Rights under USC 18 §241 and Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law under USC 18 §242
- if the story was really as described in the article the perpetration of the crime from the side of the attorneys as principals (and maybe even the Twitter as confederate) is quite beyond doubt, most probably documented by evidence in written which can be subpoenated and they would face up to 10 years in prison and most probably never try it again because without a license and in federal prison one cannot be an attorney and fill frivolous motions for the purpose of intimidation victimizations of serious violent crime victims using court machinery. I would definitely not bet the federal grand jury would acquit them especially not when the case was a subject of international publicity and outrage which eventually led to the motion withdrawal and so even in a case of a deal - if even possible - I would bet orders of at least six numbers. It's also clear that the court restraint order if it was so wide cannot stand basic scrutiny and is therefore null.

Ignore bad law and corrupt

Ignore bad law and corrupt judicial decisions, but you might have to endure more hell until justice is finally served. Maybe convicted rapists should be castrated ... and at a minimum the local community should know their names. The accused youth and their parents evidently deserve some counseling from members of the local community...

How about the girl who was underage binge drinking

She needs counseling as well. This is the result of immorality on both sides. Women need to know that they should make arrangements to go home if they are to drunk. I am not excusing what the boys did here. Harm was caused. The boys should pay if a prosecution makes a good case (and does not trample on THEIR rights).

Funny how people here want fair trials for terrorists including the ones who committed 9/11, but not for these stupid kids. I was attacked at work for saying that the Aurora shooter should still get a fair trial. Maybe I will be attacked on here for the same thing. Isn't liberty great? I advocate lynch mobs delivering justice all the time. (sarcasm)

Those rules are to protect the innocent, not the guilty. That is what due process is all about.

May the LORD bless you and keep you
May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you
May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace
Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/Burning_Sirius

didnt they pleaded guilty?

I have a feeling I've read something like that in the article and that they did it for deal... which of course doesn't mean they shouldn't have fair trial.
With the Aurora guy - shouldn't somebody shooting people crying "Dark Knight Rises" and later continuing on be confined into a mental hospital rather than put on trial? At least it would save taxpayers money and court's time and also not imply then that all this nutcases are equal to normal people and this normal people then on the base of this "equality" harassed by TSA like security in cinemas as if they would all potentially carried guns and smoke bombs there.

Another specious position...gimme a break

Who says they don't desrve a fair trial? No libertarian on this forum would suggest that. If someone does...they're a troll.



You can't get clean in a dirty bathtub.

Actually, some of your

Actually, some of your examples are cases which should have been properly judged and sentenced by peers upon commitment of the crimes thereby saving taxpayers the cost of a trial. Evidently, you'd label defense of one's life with a gun against murder or rape "vigilantism". ;)

They should get a fair trial....

...but they shouldn't have a right to privacy in their deeds, especially if they took pictures of themselves and then shared the pictures online.

I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Two wrongs never make a right

ever. That is what US foreign policy has been like for over 50 years.

May the LORD bless you and keep you
May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you
May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace
Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/Burning_Sirius

She was raped 4 times

Savannah Dietrich wasn't raped by just by two boy. She was also raped by the defense attorney and again by the Judge. Then she was put in jail and not one element of this scenario was her fault. I think we need a public outcry on her behalf.

Garan's picture

When the truth is slander. A legal issue with a nasty setting.

Wow. A lot of good points and contradictions exposed in peoples comments.

It's a strange world we live in, when speaking the truth is slander.

That's what I used to say, when me and my associates were legally (..I have to say "in my opinion"..) attacked, with a year-and-a-half court battle (We won legally, yet everyone looses).

I'm convinced that the court room is our number one way to help prevent citizens from killing each other.

The emotional aspect of this girl^s dealings, obviously has not even come close to being resolved (..and likely never will, completely).
Yet, she's doing what she thinks should be done and is willing to face the consequences. Hopefully she didn't exaggerate too much because that can be exploited (attorneys fight with whatever they've got).

This girl is willing to face a punishment against her liberties in order to exercise another of her liberties.

Although it's painful, a longer, drawn-out process can lead to better acceptance for both parties.

I'm trying to stay away from (actual and assumed) nasty parts of this article.
Especially since this site is focused on personal liberty/justice and that seems to be the main point of the article.

However it is viewed, it is tragic.

Wow, the headline makes it

Wow, the headline makes it sound like "all she did was tweet, it's not like she knew"

But not the case, the article admits there was an explicit court order and she violated it. She may have good reasons to, but it's not out of ignorance.

a court order

violating rights protected by constitution is null. The judges are bound by the Constitution - Art. VI second clause + 9th Amendment - so she most probably didn't violate anything - OK, maybe just the judge's phantasy he has an absolute power.