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Followup: Contempt Motion Withdrawn Against Sexual Assault Victim

A courtroom gavel

Photo: Bloomsberries / Flickr

Sunday night I brought you the story of Savannah Dietrich, whose horrific sexual assault was compounded by her attackers posting pictures on the internet. Even worse, attorneys for the convicted juveniles were seeking contempt charges against her for posting their names on Twitter after she first heard about the plea deal in the courtroom, with no consultation with the prosecution.

Today, the contempt request was dropped by attorneys for the two convicted sexual assaulters.

Defense attorneys for two teenagers who pleaded guilty to assaulting 17-year-old Savannah Dietrich have withdrawn their motion that she be held in contempt for tweeting the names of her attackers in defiance of a court order.

David Mejia, an attorney for one of the teens, said given that the story has gone global because of a piece Saturday in The Courier-Journal, there was no reason to continue the contempt motion.

“What could contempt do now?” Mejia said in an interview, adding that the boys’ names have already been circulated far beyond the original tweet. “Seems like a rather useless exercise doesn’t it?”

It sounds like these attorneys are still blaming the victim for the sweet deal they got for their precious clients who sexually assaulted her and posted the pictures of her on the internet. Who is in contempt of court now, eh, Attorney Mejia?

At least someone in the system is working to see justice done for Savannah Dietrich:

Emily Farrar-Crockett, deputy division chief of the public defender’s juvenile division and one of Dietrich’s attorneys, said on Monday that “Savannah greatly appreciates the overwhelming support she has received from all over the world” since the newspaper story was published.

“We are encouraged by the private defense attorney’s belated recognition that their action was inappropriate and only served to make worse what this child victim has already endured,” she said.

Farrar-Crockett also said her office is still looking to have set aside the original court order forbidding all parties from talking about the case. Farrar-Crockett said the order was overly broad, and Dietrich should be able to talk about aspects of the case.

These monsters’ attorneys need to be sanctioned for blaming the victim for tweeting the names of her attackers, when the attack itself was never covered by any confidentiality agreement she was a party to. It’s awful they would blame her for the circumstances as they stand now, especially considering the care with which media outlets handled the story of Savannah Dietrich’s tweet, never mentioning the names of her convicted attackers.

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Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge