Kentucky teenager Savannah Dietrich was sexually assaulted by two young men from her school. The boys plead guilty but took a plea deal and Savannah was ordered by a judge not to speak about the case. Frustrated, Savannah turned to Twitter because she felt the boys received a lenient plea deal and exposed her attackers. For doing so, she was facing the possibility of a $500 fine and up to 180 days in jail - a punishment likely more severe than what her attackers received.
When Elizabeth Beier heard about Savannah's story, she started a petition on Change.org and in just two days, more than 100,000 people signed. Shortly after, the two lawyers representing Savannah’s attackers withdrew their motion to hold Savannah in contempt.
"They said I can't talk about it or I'll be locked up. ....Protecting rapists is more important than getting justice for the victim in Louisville." - Savannah Dietrich, sexual assault survivor.
The criminal justice system in this country punishes the victims of sexual violence, while shielding the perpetrators. Savannah Dietrich, 17, was sexually assaulted by two boys while at a party. They took pictures of her while she was passed out and in compromised positions and distributed them. The boys came up with a plea bargain which will likely result with them getting off on "probation", or some other light punishment.
To add insult to injury, the judge ordered Savannah to keep quiet about the attacks because the boys were not being tried as adults. She tweeted the names of her attackers anyway, likely feeling that it is wrong for anyone to get away for what they did to her.
Now, she may face jail time for "contempt" because she stated who attacked her. Her punishment may be up to 180 days in jail and a $500 fine. This girl has already been traumatized and abused by her attackers. Now they want to violate her rights and ability to control her body again by putting her in prison, and the twisted laws are on their side.
Please sign to tell Judge Dee McDonald, stand with rape victims, not their attackers. For too long, rape and assault have gone unreported and unprosecuted. Please do not send Savannah to jail for standing up for herself.
Photo courtesy of the Dietrich Family and ABC News