Savannah Dietrich Supplemental Memorandum
An attorney for The Courier-Journal has filed a motion for the release of court documents in the Savannah Dietrich case. This supplemental memorandum was filed to notify the court of a Huffington Post article by Senior Crime Reported David Lohr in which one of the defense attorneys put out his version of the facts, after allegedly complaining about the possibility of the public having access to the court files.
CASE NO. 10-J-701053 JEFFERSON DISTRICT COURT 12-J-700320 JUVENILE SESSION 12-J-700321 JUDGE ANGELA McCORMICK BISIG IN THEMATTER OF: SAVANNAH DIETRICH, et al SUPPLEMENTAL MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF THE COURIER-JOURNAL'S MOTION FOR ACCESS TO COURT RECORDS The Courier-Journal, Inc. (the "Courier-Journal" ), by counsel, hereby submits this supplemental memorandum in support of its motion for leave to intervene in this case and for access to the court records in this matter. This supplemental memorandum is submitted solely to inform the Court of actions that have occurred after the August 21, 2012 hearing and which are relevant to the pending motion. On August 22, 2012, a news article was published in the online publication The Huffington Post. A copy of the article is attached as Exhibit 1. The article is entitled "Savannah Dietrich, 17-Year-Old Sexual Assault Victim, Ruined Attacker's Life, Lawyer Says." (Id.) The article contains numerous quotes from counsel for Defendant AZ. (See id.) Among other things, AZ's counsel publicly stated, He [AZ] has lost all the potential that was there. He was attending high school and was kicked out. He was on course to a scholarship to an Ivy League school to play sports and that may be jeopardized. He's in therapy. He's just overwhelmed and devastated by what started from the conduct of this young girl saying false things as she did. AZ's also is quoted as saying, The victim, in a fit of anger, tweets my client's name, calls him a rapist— something he was never accused of — and said the court system was corrupt and he got away with what he did.... She also said he videotaped her and put in on the internet. There never was a rape, there was no video and there was nothing on the Internet. But he did admit to the conduct as charged which was criminal sexual abuse or touching. (Id. at 1.) In addition to the numerous statements about the facts of the underlying case, AZ's counsel is quoted as saying that the real reason for the contempt motion filed in this case against Ms. Dieitrich was that "...we wanted our clients'ames off the Internet and wanted her to know that what she was doing was wrong." (Id. at 1.) All of these statements are attributed to AZ's counsel as part of an interview he gave to The Huffington Post with full knowledge and consent for the statements to be published. The Courier-Journal agrees that AZ and his counsel have the right to make public statements about such issues. Yet, in the August 21, 2012 hearing, AZ's counsel vehemently argued against the Courier-Journal's motion by repeatedly stating that he and his client have deliberately avoided making public statements about the facts of this case. Since AZ's counsel has put out his version of the facts, he should not be heard to complain about the public having access to all the facts in the court files. In the hearing, AZ's counsel claimed that the confidentiality of juvenile court should prevail over the public interest in disclosure in this case, even in the face of unanswered public questions about the facts of the case and how the case was handled in the justice system. That argument is clearly wrong in light of the attached news article. AZ's counsel has made public statements about the facts of the underlying case, about how the case was handled, about the case's ramifications for AZ (such as being kicked out of school and seeking therapy), and about the reasons for the contempt motion against Ms. Dietrich. The public statements made by counsel for AZ provide further "good cause" to release the court records in this case under KRS 610.340(1)(a) so that the public may make its own informed judgment. Accordingly, the Court should grant the Courier-Journal's motion to intervene and release the records. CONCLUSION For all the reasons set forth herein and in the Courier-Journal's previous memoranda, the Court should grant the Courier-Journal's motion and should release the court records. Respectfully bmitted, KdwA. Jon L. Flei haker Jeremy S. ogers DINSMO k SHOHL LLP 101 S. Fifth Street 2500 National City Tower Louisville, KY 40202 Telephone (502) 540-2300 Facsimile (502) 585-2207 Counsel for the Courier- Journal CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE nt It is hereby certified that copies of the foregoing were served via hand-delivery this day of August, 2012 to: Thomas C. Clay Clay Frederick Adams, PLC 101 Meidinger Tower 462 South Fourth Street Louisville, Kentucky 40202 Counsel for Savannah Dietrich Emily N. Farrar-Crockett Louisville Metro Public Defender's Office 200 Advocacy Plaza 717-719 W Jefferson St. Louisville, KY 40202 Counsel for Savannah Dietrich David Mejia 455 S. 4'" Street, Suite 382 Louisville, KY 40202 Counsel for AZ Christopher J. Klein 600 W. Main Street, Suite 300 Louisville, KY 40202 Counsel for 5'F Michael O'onnell Jefferson County Attorney's Office Jefferson Hall of Justice 600 West Jefferson Street Louisville KY 40202 Hon. Angela McCormick Bisig Chief Regional District Judge Louis D. Brandeis Hall Of Justice 600 W. Jefferson St. Louisville, KY 40202 Counsttf for the Couriergurnat EXHIBIT 1 Savannah Dietrich, jp-Year-Old Sexual Assault Victim, Ruined Attacker1s Life, Lawyer Says Posted: 08/21/2012 5:28 pm Updated: 08/22/2012 9:26 am Savannah Dietrich, a Kentucky teenager who was sexually assaulted and then threatened with jail for naming her attackers, has reportedly destroyed the life of at least one of the perpetrators, ;,ss "He's had to move," Davicl Mejia, the attorney for one of the attackers, told The Huffington Post. "He has lost all the potential that was there. He was attending high school and was kicked out, He was on course to a scholarship to an Ivy League school to play sports and that may be jeopardized, He's in therapy, He's just overwhelmed and devastated by what started from the conduct of this young girl saying false things as she did.s Mejia filed a contempt motion against Dietrich in July, She had tweeted the names of two teenage Savannah Oletrlch named hor attackers on Twitter, boys who assaulted her back in August 2011. ruining at least one of their lives, a lawyer says, After naming the boys, Dietrich, then 16, tweeted, nl'm not protecting anyone that made my life a living Mell." PHOTOS of Dieirich, story continues below Dletrich's anger stemmed from a June hearing in which the teenagers confessed to felony sexual abuse and misdemeanor voyeurism, She and her family were reportedly frustrated by the plea bargain the boys made with the state. "If reporting a rape only got me to the point that I'm not allowed to talk about it, then I regret it," Dietrich wrote on Facebook, el regret reporting it." Mejia said that he and his client were angry about the posts and that Dietrich was not entirely honest. "The victim, in a fit of anger, tweets my clients name, calls him a rapist —something he was never accused of — and said the court system was corrupt and he got away with what he did,e Mejla said, sShe also said he videotaped her and put it on Internet, There never was a rape, there was no video and there was nothing on the Internet, But he did admit to the conduct as charged which was criminal sexual abuse or touching." The two boys charged were juveniles, and the court therefore kept the details of the case confidential, Dietrich, now 17, tcJlc ABC's "N~ih~tines what helps?~one the night she was assaulted in an interview Monday, She said she was drinking with friends when she passed out. When she later awoke, she discovered her clothes were disheveled and felt like "something wasn't right." sl had my dress back on but my bra was shifted all weird and then my underwear was off,s Dietrich told "Nightlineo host Juju Chang. After the party, Dletrich said she was told the two boys had taken photos of her. "They told me that it was me on the kitchen floor, passed out, my eyes are closed," she said. "My clothes are — exposed. Someone said I'm one boy had his arm broken at the time and said his cast was in the picture." The details of the punishment the boys ultimately received is unknown, since court records have been witheld, "Due to the confidentiality and privacy of the whole thing I am constrained except to say that what she is saying is a mlscharacterization. It' not accurate. It's not true. What is the truth'? That I cannot say," Mejia said, In the motion Mejia filed, he requested that Dietrich be held in contempt for violating the confidentiality of a juvenile. Dietrich could have faced 180 days in jail, but Mejia said that was not what he wanted. The motion, he said, was not to punish Dietrich, but to have a judge force her to delete her online posts about the boys. nl was hoping she would even have some remorse or an apology to give. That didn't happen," Mejia said Monday on ABC's sNightlines The veteran attorney echoed those remarks during an interview with HuffPost, "When we filed the motion, we wanted our client's names off the Internet and wanted her to know that what she was doing was wrong," he said. "[She should] acknowledge what she's done, remove the name and promise not to do it again," www.huffingtonpost,corn/2012/08/21/savannah-dietrich-sexual-assault n 1819572.html?view=print8t.., 1/2 Eiut the motion prompted a flurry of national media attention and was quickly withdrawn. According to Me]la, canceling the motion did nothing to stop the influx of hate messages he and his client received. "Everybody got hate letters and worse for this young boy —this high school kid was getting tweets, Facebook [messages], all kinds of terrible things. He even got death threats," the lawyer said. Dietrich told "Nightline" she identified her attackers because she felt like their punishment was a slap on the wrist. "I was upset," Dietrich said. "I felt like they got less than theminimal punishment ...I knew that they were manipulating the system to silence me." Mejia said that his client is devastated and would like to move on with his life, but that the Internet has made that impossible, "I think it's rather astonishing how the Internet changes everything," he said. "Look at [Rep. Todd Akin], the politician from Missouri who was on the news a few days ago and made a comment about 'legitimate rape.'hose comments have now gone viral and he is ruined, Twenty years ago it would not have happened like this. These things just stream with enormous speed across the whole country." Dietrich's attorney, Emily Farrar-Crockett, did not return a call for comment from HuffPost on Tuesday. Speaking on "Nightline" Monday, she was unsympathetic to Mejia's complaints, "They took the pictures, they disseminated it, they told people about what they had done, To come back and blame her now for ruining their reputation I think is despicable, They did this to themselves," Farrar-Crockett said, www.huffingtonpost.corn/2012/08/21/savannah-dietrich-sexual-assault n 1819572.html?view=print8L.. 2/2