Sexual Assault Victim Faces Jail Time For Naming Her Assailants

The victim, 17 year-old Savannah Dietrich

When Savannah Dietrich was sexually assaulted and her attackers distributed photographs of the incident, any law enforcement agent would have encouraged the 17 year-old Kentucky girl to name her assailants. But now, Dietrich is facing jail time for doing just that.

Disappointed and angered by what she considered a lenient plea deal for the two teens who assaulted her, Dietrich violated a court order and tweeted their names.

“I’m not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell,” she wrote, according to The Courier-Journal:

“So many of my rights have been taken away by these boys,” said Dietrich, who waived confidentiality in her case to speak to The Courier-Journal. Her parents also gave their written permission for her to speak with the newspaper.

“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.” […]

“For months, I cried myself to sleep. I couldn’t go out in public places,” she told the newspaper, as her father, Michael, and attorneys sat nearby. “You just sit there and wonder, who saw (the pictures), who knows?” […]

“I felt like they were given a very, very light deal,” Dietrich said. “I wasn’t happy with it, at all.”

The boys’ attorney claim that Dietrich violated a court order on not sharing the details of the case, but the girl gave no details of the boys’ pleas. Rather, she simply named the perpetrators — a right, some lawyers say, that should be protected under the first amendment, and that the judge’s gag order was unconstitutional.

Dietrich’s lawyers say she “tried not to violate what she believed the law to be.”

Underage victims’ names are not usually published, but Dietrich and her parents hope that her story will be shared publicly, and have given media permission to reveal the girl’s identity.


A Change.org petition calling on Dietrich’s judge not to punish her has garnered more than 63,000 signatures.

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Dietrich will not be held in contempt of court. The boys’ lawyer has withdrawn the request.

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