At least it does if you’re a teenaged Kentucky victim of sexual assualt.
Savannah Dietrich – publicly named as a sex crime victim because she doesn’t want to keep silent – is currently facing a contempt of court violation because she tweeted the names of the assholes who sexually violated her at a party. Oh, and this wasn’t just an isolated incident. Dietrich had to re-live it over again when she found out months later that it was photographically documented, and the pictures were shared with other people.
In exercising her first amendment rights, Dietrich is blowing up their spot on Twitter, spilling their names and saying, “I’m not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell.” Damn right. Screw them.
The boys pled guilty in June to first-degree sexual abuse and misdemeanor voyeurism.
510.110 Sexual abuse in the first degree.
(1) A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the first degree when:
(a) He or she subjects another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion; or
(b) He or she subjects another person to sexual contact who is incapable of consent because he or she:
1. Is physically helpless;
2. Is less than twelve (12) years old; or
3. Is mentally incapacitated; or
(c) Being twenty-one (21) years old or more, he or she:
1. Subjects another person who is less than sixteen (16) years old to sexual contact;
2. Engages in masturbation in the presence of another person who is less than sixteen (16) years old and knows or has reason to know the other person is present; or
3. Engages in masturbation while using the Internet, telephone, or other electronic communication device while communicating with a minor who the person knows is less than sixteen (16) years old, and the minor can see or hear the person masturbate; or
(d) Being a person in a position of authority or position of special trust, as defined in KRS 532.045, he or she, regardless of his or her age, subjects a minor who is less than eighteen (18) years old, with whom he or she comes into contact as a result of that position, to sexual contact or engages in masturbation in the presence of the minor and knows or has reason to know the minor is present or engages in masturbation while using the Internet, telephone, or other electronic communication device while communicating with a minor who the person knows is less than sixteen (16) years old, and the minor can see or hear the person masturbate.
(2) Sexual abuse in the first degree is a Class D felony, unless the victim is less than twelve (12) years old, in which case the offense shall be a Class C felony.
So, in other words, the boys pled guilty to a Class D felony. Dietrich says she was unaware of a plea agreement until just before it was announced in court. She could not say what the proposed punishment was because of the court order, but said she feels like it was a slap on the wrist.
Kentucky law again:
532.060 Sentence of imprisonment for felony — Postincarceration supervision.
(1) A sentence of imprisonment for a felony shall be an indeterminate sentence, the maximum of which shall be fixed within the limits provided by subsection (2), and subject to modification by the trial judge pursuant to KRS 532.070.
(2) Unless otherwise provided by law, the authorized maximum terms of imprisonment for felonies are:
(a) For a Class A felony, not less than twenty (20) years nor more than fifty (50) years, or life imprisonment;
(b) For a Class B felony, not less than ten (10) years nor more than twenty (20) years;
(c) For a Class C felony, not less than five (5) years nor more than ten (10) years; and
(d) For a Class D felony, not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years.
(3) For any felony specified in KRS Chapter 510, KRS 530.020, 530.064(1)(a), or 531.310, the sentence shall include an additional five (5) year period of postincarceration supervision which shall be added to the maximum sentence rendered for the offense. During this period of postincarceration supervision, if a defendant violates the provisions of postincarceration supervision, the defendant may be reincarcerated for:
(a) The remaining period of his initial sentence, if any is remaining; and
(b) The entire period of postincarceration supervision, or if the initial sentence has been served, for the remaining period of postincarceration supervision.
(4) In addition to the penalties provided in this section, for any person subject to a period of postincarceration supervision pursuant to KRS 532.400 his or her sentence shall include an additional one (1) year period of postincarceration supervision following release from incarceration upon expiration of sentence if the offender is not otherwise subject to another form of postincarceration supervision. During this period of postincarceration supervision, if an offender violates the provisions of supervision, the offender may be reincarcerated for the remaining period of his or her postincarceration supervision.
(5) The actual time of release within the maximum established by subsection (1), or as modified pursuant to KRS 532.070, shall be determined under procedures established elsewhere by law.
In other words, if you didn’t garner from the italicized parts, these boys pled guilty to a crime that carries a sentence of one year in prison and five years probation. My guess? Since it was juvenile court, they’re not getting any jail time, and maybe they’re getting probation. I have no idea what goes into the punishment for voyeurism, but my guess is nothing.
The downside is that the judge did issue a gag order not to talk about what happened in court or about the crime, and this is what the boy’s attorneys will use. “They got off very easy … and they tell me to be quiet, just silencing me at the end,” Dietrich said. Basically, the court is saying that you can rape someone who passes out at a party and that’s just fine. But if you talk about it, then you could spent 180 days in jail and pay a $500 fine. What kind of shit is this?
It’s called Freedom of Speech, not Freedom of Assault.
Update: As of today, July 24, the boys’ attorneys have dropped the charges. They say it’s not because of the public sentiment, but with all the Twitter buzz and the multiple petitions going around (one with over 62,000 signatures), I don’t believe it. I understand where the attorneys are coming from, that having these boys’ names out there can cause ramifications down the road, but guess what? They got off easy. They made a choice that they should have to face consequences for. You don’t give them protection from the law and then add more harm to the victim by telling her she can never talk about it. That makes the judge no different than the predator who orders his victim not to tell anyone what happened. Idiot.)