What bugs me most about this entire situation is the bandwagon of righteousness. Legality is not right or wrong. It is legal. There is no room for discussion for weather or not the boys deserved her releasing their names. The fact of the matter is that there is a gag order. She violated that gag order. She should be punished.
I know that extenuating circumstances make what she did right, but it doesn't make it legal. Just as there are stupid laws, there are sometimes stupid court orders. But when those are violated, the police can still hold you accountable. Until such time as the law, and this case the court order, are repealed, then the punishment for a violation stands.
I know the severity of their offense makes it hard to step back, but imagine if what they did was steal her bike. If the court order was for her to not say who stole her bike, would you still be so inflamed?
Or what if the gag order was in regards to a fiscal matter, such as a patent war. Again, in such a case she would still be RIGHT in stating their names, but she would also be fined for violating that gag order.
To take into account the outlaying circumstances at the indictment phase in a legal proceeding ignores a fundamental principle in our legal system. It is an independent crime. It may have arose from that situation and during the litigation it can and should be brought up, but to say "Oh, it is okay, they wronged you," is akin to saying I have the right to steal your bike because you killed my brother.
In addition, the victim's rights to being part of the deal is only applicable to a civil case, not a criminal case. In a civil case the plantif, meaning Ms Dietrich, would have had sueing powers and thus had sole bargaining powers. But it is a criminal case in which the gag order was levied. The state purses the charge. The prosecutor has bargaining rights. They normally consult the victim. But not always. If one has a problem with that, then that is another matter that needs to be discussed with your representative.
And I reiterate, pulled from the article dcblue was kind enough to post:
Neither Dietrich nor her attorneys have publicly revealed details of the plea agreement. The teens are to be sentenced next month, and the judge has the power to accept, reject or modify the terms of the proposed agreement.
That means that she was also violating a standard juvenile court procedure of maintaining confidentiality until the proceedings are closed. At such time it is established if the names are open or closed to the public. She basically did not want to wait a month to see if the judge would accept the punishment.
Again, I am not debating if she was right. I am stating that her actions were illegal.
PS: It was sexual assault, not rape. Those are different crimes of the same nature. It is still deplorable, but it is also not the same thing.
And everyone seems to forget that she was drinking heavily, underage.