Unreal. Last year Savannah Dietrich (she has waived anonymity), a 16 y/o girl (now 17) had some friends over for a party. She has too much to drink & passes out. Two of the male guests (Austin Zehnder and Will Frey) took the opportunity to strip her, sexually assault her, and take PICTURES of it, which they then send to everyone in town. The boys (also juveniles) make a plea deal, which was not discussed with Savannah and her family, to bring the charges down to one low level felony and a misdemeanor voyeurism charge then plead guilty, much to Savannah & her family’s shock.
The judge set a sentencing date, and then ordered Savannah and her family not to talk about the case or its details to anyone. Savannah, righteously pissed about this, violated the court order and took to Facebook & Twitter to out her attackers. This is not a “he said she said” issue, or anything that has a chance of being a false accusation. The idiots took photos of themselves assaulting her and sent them to multiple witnesses, and they’ve plead guilty, yet the law is shielding them. With their plea deal they could literally be out on the street immediately after sentencing, with no warning given to anyone around them, which’s why Savannah came forward.
The court’s response? She’s been charged with contempt for violating the court order & is facing 6 months in jail and a $5000 fine. In other words, she could end up with a harsher sentence than the guys who assaulted her. This is an unbelievable example of how the justice system favors criminals over victims, protects the guilty, and puts victims of sexual assault in a place where they’re afraid to speak up.
I want to make it quite clear, BTW, that I don’t support publicizing names of ACCUSED parties, as that can and does ruin the lives of innocent people. But, juveniles or not, once someone’s been convicted of this type of crime (or any other violent crime), ESPECIALLY with incontrovertible evidence like this, they SHOULD be named. Knowing who the predators are will help others stay safe, and punishing a victim for exposing them is ludicrous.
Also, on another note, you hear all the time about local & federal LEOs arresting teens for “sexting.” WHY, in a case like this, is no one pressing state or federal charges against these two for making & distributing illegal kiddie porn??? The authorities have prosecuted 16 y/o girls who’ve sent pics of THEMSELVES to their boyfriends. If I were to take lewd photos of a 16 y/o girl, I’d be looking at 10 years federal time. Why isn’t anyone charging these guys?
This story is all over the news. You can find multiple stories posted about it (this’s the first one I saw http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/21/savannah-dietrich-faces-charges_n_1692374.html) if you google her name. In a sad moment of irony, all the stories name her but almost NONE of them name her attackers. SLATE has a great article about this, and several other similar cases, HERE.