Wednesday, July 25, 2012

...As if one dries/The streams from off my face.

Almost a year ago, a young woman named Savannah Dietrich (now 17) went to a party, drank too much, and passed out. That's not, perhaps, the smartest behavior, but it's not something she should have to pay for the rest of her life.

While she was unconscious, two other teenagers, Austin Zehnder and Will Frey, raped her, took pictures, and emailed them to friends. That's a crime, and should be punished.

But the boys struck a plea deal last month, pleading guilty to felony sexual abuse and misdemeanor voyeurism. Their sentencing hearing is scheduled for next month. But one other legal action was taken: Ms Dietrich was hit with a gag order, telling her that she couldn't talk to the press or reveal the names of her attackers.

The punishment for that could be six months in jail (not 100 days, as the video below claims) and a $500 fine, probably more than the boys would have received: juveniles tend to recieve lighter sentences, and their names aren't released to the public - apparently in the theory that they never learned that rape is wrong.

But Ms Dietrich decided to fight back. She tweeted their names to everyone she knew and opened her Facebook page to the public; she followed the court order to the point that she never revealed what the proposed sentencing was, but said that it was "a slap on the wrist."

Thanks in part to the public outcry, charges against Savannah Dietrich have been dropped. The judge has managed to muzzle the press, though, so while we know the name of Savannah Dietrich, the names of her attackers, Austin Zehnder and Will Frey, are nowhere to be found on the mainstream media. What the judge hasn't been able to control, though, is the internet.

It doesn't take much to google their names, where you can discover that they play lacrosse for a community team. You even get to see what these two douches look like.


There are some stories that need to be told. Over and over again. Until society stops trying to blame the victim.

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