Dietrich's parents break their silence


by Gene Kang

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 31 at 5:44 PM

(WHAS 11) -- Savannah Dietrich's parents broke their silence after a judge decided not to remove the County Attorney's Office.

But the court says she still has many victims' rights. It's the first time our camera was allowed in this juvenile courtroom.

Judge Angela McCormick Bisig allowed media into her court in this monumental juvenile sex abuse case, creating transparency.

"The victim shall be consulted and have a voice," McCormick Bisig said.

However, 17-year-old Savannah Dietrich sat in disappointment with her parents. The judge decided not to disqualify the Jefferson County Attorney's Office and prosecutor Paul Richwalsky.

Dietrich said she believed he was biased because he graduated from and supports Trinity High School where the teenage boys are student athletes.

Michael O'Connell, Jefferson County Attorney, said: "He's denied that emphatically and I don't have anything further to say about that."

The boys were not in court but their parents were, and even though records were opened to the public WHAS 11 policy is not to reveal juveniles' names.

The judge declared Savannah has victims' rights to be consulted about  the final punishment in two weeks. The judge has the ultimate say despite a plea deal where the boys admitted to sexual abuse and voyeurism. They got 50 hours of community service. They were placed on house arrested, and while on house arrest were allowed to visit colleges and go to prom.

Savannah said she plans on speaking out at sentencing in two weeks.

Savannah said: "Now I have to talk about how the court has handled it. How I feel unjust things have happened to me and hopefully they will side with me."

Her parents spoke publicly for the first time.

Sharon Dietrich, Savannah's mother, said: "Because she spoke up it went national a lot of victims are offering us support and they're watching us because they're living it vicariously."

Michael Dietrich, Savannah's father, said: "I think in the long run it'll benefit a lot of people and Savannah's getting benefits as well. It helps and you it makes the situation better and prevent it from happening somewhere else."

Travis Lock, Savannah's attorney said: "Despite the court's ruling Savannah's courage has shed light on the the need for transparency of the juvenile justice system specifically how prosecution is handled with sex offenses."

The sentencing for the two boys is September 14.