Juvenile sex abuse case made public - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Juvenile sex abuse case made public

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A juvenile case that involves three local teens and sexual abuse is now part of the public record. WDRB has gained access to hundreds of documents in the Savannah Dietrich case.

So far, we're learning what happened on August 31st of last year at Dietrich's house, where friends were drinking and she passed out.

Dietrich outlines what she says two Trinity student athletes, Austin Zehnder and William Frey the Third, did to her. She says while unconscious, they removed her clothing and sexually abused her with their hands, then used their cell phones and took pictures of the sexual acts.

Dietrich says, "After so long of begging them for the truth I had no other option, I'm not going to just let this go, so I reported it."

She says the boys distributed the pictures of the assault and she was then ridiculed by her peers. She says in police interviews, the boys admitted to the crimes.

Dietrich's attorney says those pictures are believed to still be on the boys' cell phones. Police are still in possession of the phones.

Zehnder's attorney says Zehnder was kicked out of Trinity where he was on course to get a scholarship to an Ivy League school to play sports. He goes on to say that Zehnder in therapy, but has been receiving death threats. Zehnder and the other boys accepted a plea deal in June where they pleaded guilty to sexual abuse and voyeurism.

Dietrich was upset with that deal and tweeted their names and her feelings on the case. She tweeted, "There you go, lock me up. I'm not protecting anyone that made my life a living hell."

"It's amazing how quick and powerful social media is -- the Internet, how quickly things can spread," ," Dietrich said.  I'm sure 20 years ago this wasn't even possible at all."

Juvenile cases are normally sealed, but Dietrich wanted her case to be open -- and a judge ruled in her favor. That's why WDRB has gained access to all the files in the case.

Dietrich's attorney, Tom Clay, says, "Because of her courage and her willingness to stand up and articulate what was bothering her, she has gotten a tremendous victory for openness in the juvenile court process."

Eight hours of court video is also expected to be made public on Aug. 31.

Dietrich's attorney is also trying to get an Assistant County attorney removed from the case, citing his ties to Trinity High School. The County Attorney's Office says it can't comment on pending cases.

Attorneys for Zehnder and Frey have not returned our calls.

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