Read full article from the Huffington Post here.
A 17 year old sexual assault victim faces up to 6 months in jail for publicly outing her attackers via twitter. The victim had passed out at a party and was assaulted by 2 boys, then pictures of the assault were posted on the internet. When she learned that prosecutors had struck a plea deal with her attackers, the victim decided if the court system wouldn’t punish the boys properly, she would take it to the court of public opinion. While the boys have pled guilty to 1st degree sexual assault and voyeurism, the victim now faces a $500 fine and up to 180 days in jail for contempt, by violating the confidential nature of a juvenile hearing.
While Prosecutors are generally free to offer plea deals to criminal defendants at their own prerogative, it is customary to discuss such plea offers with victims prior to the court hearing, if only just to give them advanced notice of what would occur in court. Maybe if the prosecutor had taken just a few minutes of his or her time to sit down with the victim and explain what was going to happen, she wouldn’t have felt so blind-sided by the deal and thus wouldn’t have felt the need to speak out via social media.
Related articles and links
- Kentucky teen faces jail time after exposing sexual assailants on Twitter (EndtheLie.com)
- Victim Rights Law Center (VictimRights.org)