New tapes reveal public fight in Dietrich case - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New tapes reveal public fight in Dietrich case

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- 

New video is released in the teenage sexual abuse case that's gained national attention because of a "tweet".

We're now learning more about the argument to open the case and the warning the victim chose to ignore. For the first time we're hearing the exact orders that 17-year-old sexual assault victim Savannah Dietrich chose to defy.

"I don't expect anyone, anyone, to be speaking about the incident to anyone for any reason," said Jefferson County District Judge, Dee McDonald, during a June hearing.

The judge explicitly said the details of the case were not to be discussed outside the courtroom.

"That's not talking, not typing, nothing," said McDonald.

The warning came just after former Trinity High School students Austin Zehnder and William Frey pleaded guilty to sexually abusing Savannah and taking pictures of the acts. The boys had agreed to a plea deal, one that Savannah thought was too lenient considering her pain. 

Unexpectedly, a day later all the attorneys were back in court.  Savannah had "tweeted" the names of her attackers. Hours of courtroom video document what happened next.

A motion is filed to hold Savannah in "contempt" for violating the judge's order to keep quiet.  The charge was later dropped after attorneys argued back and forth for weeks. 

What followed was fight that could change how juvenile cases are handled in the future, to make the case public.

Attorney John Fleischaker argued during a hearing late last month, "That raises all sorts of important public issues about what goes on in here under the guise of confidentiality. Can a judge instruct a victim not to talk about what happened to you?"

This week Judge Angela Bisig sided with Savannah lawyers and ordered the case be opened and all of the evidence.

The highly publicized case will move forward in open court.  That includes Austin and William's juvenile sentencing where Savannah plans to speak in just 2 weeks.

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