Here we have the story of a brave young woman who is standing up for victims rights. Savannah Dietrich (photos below) outed the names of her two teenage attackers and faces possible jail time because they were underage in an apparent miscarriage of justice.
In fact the entire case and its handling by local prosecutors is causing outrage. The facts are loosely that Miss Dietrich was at a party and consumed too much alcohol. While she was passed out, the two boys sexually assaulted her and even took photos of the occasion to show off to their friends, pictures which were apparently circulated widely. They reached a plea agreement with the prosecutors which she says will amount to no more than a slap on the wrist for their assault.
In the meantime, Savannah Dietrich describes that she cried herself to sleep for months as she thought of those pictures circulating around the public sphere and the terrible ordeal the boys put her through. At age 17 she enters adulthood with a social stigma and shame that may well last her entire lifetime. She was robbed of a portion of her dignity by hoodlums, and now a judge may throw her in jail for tweeting their names while the real criminals walk away as free birds. Read the story here.
Biography: Savannah Dietrich is a 17-year old high school girl from Louisville, Kentucky. Her Facebook page is set to private so there is no sense in linking to it. We have reached out to her for comment there. Savannah’s Twitter page has been taken down recently. We do not know if that is by her own hand or aggressive lawyers for the boys going after her Twitter account. You can see a picture of the homepage in our gallery and even see a cached copy (at least for a while) here. The introduction is “17 and still learning. Stay True. RIP Will Harrod, such a beautiful person. I love you, bye bye blackbird.”
The name of the judge who now decides her fate is Judge Dee McDonald of Kentucky’s juvenile court system. Generally men who have no clue about how women are affected by assault cases decide something they know nothing about but at least this time the judge is a woman. Regardless, as the boys are going to laugh their way home thanks to a lenient sentence, Miss Dietrich now faces a possible contempt of court charge and a jail sentence herself.
Even those who are suppose to be standing up for victim’s rights in the state are not standing by Savannah. The head of Kentuckians Voice for Crime Victims, a woman named Jo Ann Phillips, reportedly gave a newspaper interview in which she said that “This assault could affect her for the rest of her life and the fact that she said, ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,’ you have to applaud her. But you also have to respect authority. She should have gone to a victims’ group or her local legislator and fought for the right to speak out.”
With friends like that who needs enemies? I applaud Savannah Dietrich for the bravery of this young woman in taking responsibility for standing up for herself and publicly confronting the teenagers who did this to her. Hopefully she will inspire others to follow in her footsteps and publicly out more of these perpetrators. Reader thoughts?
Update: She told an open courtroom on September 14th that she had considered suicide after the ordeal. The statement she read was heartwrenching. “I was in so much pain, death seemed like a friendly thought to me. I couldn’t even cry myself to sleep. I hardly got any sleep.” The sex offenders were then sentenced to community service by a lenient judge.