Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Outing the Rapists

As a followup to the Savannah Dietrich story (previous post), I want to let you know the attorneys for the boys who admitted as part of a plea bargain to having raped the 17-year-old Kentucky girl after she passed out at a party have withdrawn their request asking the judge to hold Savannah in contempt of court for violating a gag order and revealing her rapists' names on Twitter. While the judge could still hold her in contempt sua sponte (on her own accord), I doubt that will happen after the publicity.

Generally speaking, in my reporting and in my nonfiction books like Issues In Internet Law, I do not name rape victims, the exception being when they have first sought out media attention, which is why I did name Savannah in my previous post. I wrote the post Sunday night, but held it back so readers coming to my blog after the weekend would not miss my weekend post on the Colorado theater shooting. I also held back the names of the rapists -- I don't say "alleged" rapists because they have admitted their guilt in court -- because I believed they might have been minors, as well, since I knew they were on a high school Lacrosse team. While I did have their names, as well as their photos, I resisted the temptation to identify them on this blog, and I will not do so.

However, if anyone else does...

Chris Klein, an attorney for one of the boys, said publicizing their names "may create problems for them in the future." Gee, you think they should have thought about that before raping a teenage girl?

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