California case another three-part tragedy of rape, cyber bullying and suicide. September 2012 sexual assault of Audrie Pott.

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Normal California case another three-part tragedy of rape, cyber bullying and suicide. September 2012 sexual assault of Audrie Pott.

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:26 pm



By Craig Giammona, NBC News
Three boys accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old California girl who took her own life after pictures of the attack were posted online are due in court this week, as authorities ramp up their investigation into the latest case involving rape and cyber bullying.
NBC Bay Area reported that three 16-year-olds from Saratoga, a town of about 30,000 that is 13 miles west of San Jose, were arrested last week in connection with the September 2012 sexual assault of Audrie Pott.
Pott, 15, hanged herself eight days after the alleged assault, apparently despondent after photos of the attack were posted online and shared among classmates at Saratoga High School.

Pott's parents have said they did even not know about the attack until after their daughter's death. The parents have been in seclusion since the three boys were arrested, but they plan to speak publicly about the case at a news conference scheduled for Monday, according to NBC Bay Area.
"We're talking about, other than murdering someone, the highest degree of a crime you could possibly do, which is to violate them in the worst of ways ... and then to effectively rub her face in it afterwards," Robert Allard, the attorney representing the girl's mother, father and step-mother, told the Associated Press on Friday.
Allard said Pott was intoxicated and unconscious when the assault occurred, and that "there were multiple boys in the room with her."

Lawyers for the boys, whose names have not been released because they are minors, released a statement on Friday asking for the public to withhold judgement until their clients can tell their side of the story, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
"Much of what has been reported over the last several days is inaccurate. Most disturbing is the attempt to link (Audrie's) suicide to the specific actions of these three boys," the statement from San Jose attorneys Eric Geffon, Alan Lagod and Benjamin Williams reads. "We are hopeful that everyone understands that these boys, none of whom have ever been in trouble with the law, are to be regarded as innocent."
The boys are currently in a juvenile hall, although no charges have been formally filed, and are expected to appear in court on Tuesday, according to NBC Bay Area.
The incident occurred over Labor Day weekend last year in a prosperous Silicon Valley suburb on the west side of the Santa Clara Valley that is known for its wineries and high-end boutiques.
The AP said Pott was at a sleepover at a friend's house when the unaccompanied teens got into liquor.

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At some point, Pott went upstairs to sleep and "woke up to the worst nightmare possible," Allard told the AP.
The attorney said Pott soon "found an abundance of material online about that night, including pictures and emails." She also determined that the alleged attackers were boys she had considered friends. Pott then wrote on Facebook that the whole school knew what happened and that her life was ruined, Allard said.

Members of the Pott family recently accused the alleged attackers of destroying evidence in the case, writing on Facebook that the "the boys who we believe responsible for Audrie's death took deliberate steps to destroy evidence and interfere with the police investigation." The family asked students with information about the case to come forward.
Santa Clara Country Sheriff Laurie Smith confirmed to NBC Bay Area that her department believes they're missing a key piece of evidence, which she described as a "critical electronic device" that has not been turned over.
The arrests of the three boys Thursday pushed the Saratoga case into the national spotlight, coming on the heels of the rape trial in Steubenville, Ohio, and the news that authorities in Canada are reopening their investigation in the case of 17-year-old suicide victim Rehtaeh Parsons.
Parsons, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, was photographed during a sexual assault in November, 2011, then allegedly bullied online. Parson was taken off life support Sunday, April 7 — three days after hanging herself.
The Audrie Pott Foundation announced on Saturday it would hold a candlelight vigil at Saratago High School next Friday night.

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Normal 'If it can happen to my daughter it can happen to anyone': Mother of Audrie Pott who committed suicide after alleged sexual assault bravely speaks out for the first time about her death.

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:48 pm

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cryingagain cryingagain cryingagain cryingagain cryingagain cryingagain cryingagain

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Normal Audrie Pott found drawings, name on body when she awoke

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:57 pm

By Martha Mendoza, The Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Awakening in a friend’s bedroom after drinking too much at a sleepover, 15-year-old Audrie Pott looked down and realized she had been sexually assaulted and her attackers had written and drawn on intimate parts of her body, her family’s attorney said Monday.

Over the next week, she pieced together one horrifying detail after another. She went online and tried to confront the three boys she had known since junior high who she believed had done it.

At school, she saw a group of students huddled around a cellphone and realized that at least one humiliating photo of her was circulating.

“I have a reputation for a night I don’t even remember and the whole school knows,” she wrote in one Facebook message to a friend.

“I cried when I found out what they did,” she wrote in another.

Eight days after the attack, she called and asked her mother to pick her up at school. She said she couldn’t deal with it anymore but would not say what was wrong.

And then she hanged herself.

The Pott family disclosed the new details of the ordeal at an emotional news conference Monday in San Jose, discussing painful details of what their daughter was put through and demanding that three 16-year-old boys arrested eight months after the assault be tried as adults – a move that would be highly unlikely under California law.

The family members also announced plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the suspects, their parents and the family that owns the house where the Labor Day party took place.

The boys arrested in the case are each charged with sexual battery, dissemination of child pornography and possession of child pornography. Under California law, such less severe charges are filed if a victim does not have the ability to fight off a sexual assault because they are unconscious.

Audrie’s mother, Sheila Pott, said she hopes to change that with a new “Audrie’s Law.”

“I want to take serious steps to see that this doesn’t happen to another one of our children,” she said.

Sgt. Mike Leininger, a retired San Jose police detective hired by the family’s attorney to investigate the case, said interviews of people at the party showed the suspects were sober at the time of the attack in Saratoga, a bedroom community on the fringe of Silicon Valley.

However, a police report obtained by the San Jose Mercury News said the suspects told authorities during the initial investigation that they did drink at the party.

The police report also says witnesses told investigators the three suspects took the drunken Audrie to sleep in an upstairs room then assaulted her.

The report says the attackers pulled off her shorts and partially removed her bra, exposing her breasts, the newspaper reported. Markings were found on her chest, legs, back and near her genitalia.

“They wrote ‘Blank Was Here,’ on her leg,” said family attorney Robert Allard, not using the actual name because the suspect is a juvenile. “They marked her.”

Lisa Pott, the stepmother of Audrie, said the three suspects were removed from the football team after her suicide but weren’t expelled from school, despite their pleas to the principal.

She said Audrie had been dealing with bullying problems at school prior to the assault, and the family had asked the principal for help last spring.

Jane Marashian, a spokeswoman for the school district, said officials had no comment in response to that claim.

Attorney Eric Geffon, who represents one of the three suspects, told The Associated Press that attorneys representing all three suspects will have a statement on Tuesday after a hearing in Juvenile Court.

Geffon said the boys were cited last fall but no formal charges were filed against them until Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies arrested two boys at Saratoga High School and a third, a former Saratoga High student, at Christopher High where he currently was a student. They have been held in the county juvenile detention centre since Thursday.

Audrie Pott’s father, mother and step-mother said they were outraged by what they see as a refusal to take responsibility by the teens. Lawrence Pott, the girl’s father, said he was astounded that defence lawyers for the three denied a link between the assault and the humiliating photo and his daughter’s decision to end her life.

“With no assault, with no cyberbullying, Audrie is in art class right now,” he said, his voice breaking as he held back tears. “What they did was disgusting.”

The AP does not routinely identify victims of sexual assault. But in this case, Pott’s family wanted her name and case known, Allard said. The family also provided a photo to the AP.

The arrests and the details that came spilling out shocked many in this prosperous Silicon Valley suburb of 30,000 and have drawn international attention, especially coming just after two other similar episodes recently in the news – a suicide in Canada and a rape in Steubenville, Ohio.

“I have to say we were unprepared for the amount of media attention that we are getting,” said Lisa Pott, mother of Audrie’s three younger siblings. “Not only is this scary and intimidating, but just as we thought we might be starting to heal, it rips open the wound and reminds us of everything our family lost.”

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Normal Re: California case another three-part tragedy of rape, cyber bullying and suicide. September 2012 sexual assault of Audrie Pott.

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:58 pm

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Normal Re: California case another three-part tragedy of rape, cyber bullying and suicide. September 2012 sexual assault of Audrie Pott.

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:27 am

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Normal Re: California case another three-part tragedy of rape, cyber bullying and suicide. September 2012 sexual assault of Audrie Pott.

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:19 pm

Family says boys were sober during sex assault

By MARTHA MENDOZA | Associated Press – 21 hrs ago

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The family of a girl who committed suicide after she was sexually assaulted and a photo of the act was shared in text messages said Monday the three 16-year-old boys responsible were sober when the assault happened.

Audrie Pott's father, mother and step-mother made their first public comments about their daughter's death and the events leading to it during an interview with Fox News that was followed by a news conference.

They said they were outraged by what they see as a refusal to take responsibility by the three boys arrested in the attack on the 15-year-old girl in Saratoga, a bedroom community on the fringe of Silicon Valley.

In addition, Lisa Pott, the girl's stepmother, said the boys were sober, making their actions cold and calculated. The suspects were friends of Audrie, family attorney Robert Allard said.

Audrie's father, Larry Pott, said he was astounded that defense lawyers for the three have said there is no link between the sharing of the humiliating photo and his daughter's decision to end her life.

The boys were arrested Thursday — eight months after Audrie Pott posted online that her life was ruined and then hanged herself.

"This period has been difficult for us because the wounds are so fresh," her father Lawrence Pott told the heavily attended news conference. "We miss her every day, but now we must carry on and share her story so that this epidemic of sexual assault and cyberbullying amongst teens can be exposed and stopped."

Eric Geffon, who represents one of the suspected teens, said the boys were cited last fall but no formal charges were filed against them until Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies arrested two boys at Saratoga High School and a third, a former Saratoga High student, at Christopher High in Gilroy where he currently was a student.

As of Sunday night, all three 16-year-old boys were still being held in the Santa Clara County detention center.
Pott also had been a student at Saratoga High.

On the night she was assaulted, Pott drank alcohol mixed with Gatorade at a Labor Day sleepover party, then went upstairs and fell asleep "and woke up to the worst nightmare imaginable," Allard said.

Over the next week, she pieced together who had sexually battered her and realized at least one humiliating photo was electronically being passed around the school.
"She was being consoled by other friends and they were concerned about her. One day she apparently felt that she couldn't cope with it anymore and poor Audrie was traumatized to the point where she ended her life," Allard said on Monday.

Geffon said much of what has been reported is incorrect, including the family's assertion that the boys were not cooperating with investigators. He added that the Santa Clara County sheriff's decision to arrest the boys just days prior to a civil lawsuit being filed seems "awfully coincidental."

Family spokesman Ed Vasquez said Audrie's family decided to speak out Monday to "raise awareness about teenage bullying, harassment, sexual assault, and the use of electronic media to disseminate images that humiliate and in this case drove their daughter to take her life."
Backed by a large banner signed with loving messages from dozens of classmates and friends, Allard said the suspects are responsible for the Audrie's decision to end her life. The family is adamant that the suspects be tried as adults, he said.

"They will apparently have you believe that what they did and what Audrie did was just a coincidence," Allard said, alluding to a statement from the boys' attorneys.

"Frankly this sent us over the edge because it tells us that these boys and their families to this day refuse to accept responsibility."

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Normal Re: California case another three-part tragedy of rape, cyber bullying and suicide. September 2012 sexual assault of Audrie Pott.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:27 am



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