Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Girl who hanged herself saw details of her sex assault online, lawyer says

SARATOGA, Calif. — Fifteen-year-old Audrie Pott passed out drunk at a friend's house, woke up and concluded she had been sexually abused.

In the days that followed, she was shocked to see an explicit photo of herself circulating among her classmates along with emails and text messages about the episode. And she was horrified to discover that her attackers were three of her friends, her family's lawyer says.

Eight days after the party, she hanged herself.

"She pieced together with emails and texts who had done this to her. They were her friends. Her friends!" said lawyer Robert Allard. "That was the worst"

On Thursday, sheriff's officials arrested three 16-year-old boys on suspicion of sexual battery against Pott, who committed suicide in September.

The arrests and the details that came spilling out shocked many in Saratoga, a prosperous Silicon Valley suburb of 30,000. The case underscored the seeming callousness with which some young people use technology.

"The problem with digital technologies is they can expand the harm that people suffer greatly," said Nancy Willard, an Oregon-based cyberbullying expert and creator of a prevention program for schools.

Santa Clara County sheriff's officials would not give any details on the circumstances around Pott's suicide. But Allard said Pott had been drinking at a sleepover at a friend's house, passed out and "woke up to the worst nightmare imaginable." She knew she had been assaulted, he said.

Her parents did not learn about the assault until after her death, when Pott's friends approached them, Allard said.

The suspects case were booked into juvenile hall. Their names were not released.

The news surprised residents of the town.

"People in this town are involved, parents advocate for their kids to get the best education, the best teachers, the best sports," said Jamie Perez, who was walking her baby and her dog on Friday past a coffee shop.

Perez graduated from the local school system, which has one of the top high schools in the state.

Allard said Thursday's arrests "reopened a wound" for the girl's family members, and they have gone into seclusion. But they want to see the boys prosecuted as adults and action taken again those who passed the photo around, he said.

A northern California Sheriff’s Office has arrested three 16-year-old boys on accusations that they sexually assaulted  15-year-old Audrie Pott and posted a photo on the Web. She hanged herself eight days after the attack last fall. Santa Clara County deputies arrested the boys on Thursday.

Family photo/Associated Press

A northern California Sheriff’s Office has arrested three 16-year-old boys on accusations that they sexually assaulted 15-year-old Audrie Pott and posted a photo on the Web. She hanged herself eight days after the attack last fall. Santa Clara County deputies arrested the boys on Thursday.

Girl who hanged herself saw details of her sex assault online, lawyer says 04/12/13 [Last modified: Saturday, April 13, 2013 12:14am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Judge throws out $458,000 condo sale, says Clearwater attorney tricked bidders

    Real Estate

    CLEARWATER — Pinellas County Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold on Monday threw out the $458,100 sale of a gulf-front condo because of what he called an "unscrupulous" and "conniving" scheme to trick bidders at a foreclosure auction.

    John Houde, left, whose Orlando copany was the high  bidder June 8 at the foreclosure auction of a Redington Beach condo, looks in the direction of Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, foreground,  during a hearing Monday before Pinellas County Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold.  [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times ]
  2. Vision Zero plan to make Hillsborough roads safer to be unveiled

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Vision Zero, the coalition trying to make Hillsborough County safer for bicyclists and pedestrians, is set to unveil its action plan on Tuesday morning.

    Members of the Vision Zero workshop cross Hillsborough Avenue and Kelly Road during a on-street audit of Town 'N Country roads in January. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |   Times]
  3. Pasco EDC names business incubator head in Dade City, will open second site

    Business

    Pasco County economic development officials are busy reigniting their business start-up resources following the departure earlier this year of Krista Covey, who ran the Pasco Economic Development Council's SMARTStart business incubator in Dade City.

    Andrew Romaner was promoted this summer to serve as program director of the Dade City SMARTStart Entrepreneur Center, a start-up incubator service of the Pasco Economic Development Council. He succeeds Krista Covey, who relocated to Texas for another startup position. [Courtesy of Pasco EDC]
  4. Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, center, attends a hearing on Monday Circuit Court Judge Jack St. Arnold at the Pinellas County Courthouse in Clearwater. The hearing was requested by attorneys representing John Houde, left, who filed a motion to invalidate the sale of a $458,000 Redington Beach condo, a deal orchestrated by Skelton, who stands accused of deliberately misleading bidders in a the June 8 foreclosure auction. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]
  5. Sarasota GOP names Dick Cheney 'Statesman of the Year'

    Blogs

    Former Vice President Dick Cheney will be honored as "Statesman of Year" by the Sarasota GOP, a title that twice went to Donald Trump.

    Dick and Liz Cheney