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Audrie Pott: Cyberbullying law urged after alleged sexual assault

April 12, 2013|By Kate Mather
  • Audrie Pott in an undated photograph provided by her family.
Audrie Pott in an undated photograph provided by her family. (AP Photo / Family photo )

The family of a Bay Area 15-year-old who killed herself after photos circulated of her alleged sexual assault hope to bring about tougher legislation on cyberbullying, their attorney said Friday.

"Audrie's Law" would also seek to strengthen laws on sexual assault to ensure adolescent suspects are tried as adults, attorney Robert Allard told The Times.

"Her parents really want something positive to come from something like this," Allard said.

On Thursday, authorities announced that three 16-year-old boys had been arrested on suspicion of sexually battering Audrie Pott, a Saratoga Union High School sophomore, according to reports.

Allard said the alleged attack occurred at what the teenager thought would be a "small little gathering" at a friend's house last fall. The friend's parents were out of town, he said, and the girls started drinking some sort of alcohol mixed with Gatorade.

Soon, Allard said, "word spread there was a party at this house."

Audrie had gone upstairs early to sleep, but when she woke up the next day, she "recognized immediately that something terrible had happened," Allard said.

At least one picture depicting the sexual assault was circulated among her peers, Allard said. Audrie later posted on Facebook that "the whole school knows" and "my life is like ruined now," Allard said.

Pott killed herself in September, about a week after the alleged attack.

"Obviously she was tormented," Allard said. "They had spread the word as to what happened, circulated at least one photograph of what happened during the assault, and she was tortured by cyber bullying."

An investigation into the alleged attack, along with Pott’s suicide, is ongoing.

Allard said the news “brought out new emotions” from Pott’s family, but they were “happy” the arrests had been made.

“They’ve lost their baby girl,” Allard said. “But they are relieved to know that after several months of these boys living their lives as though nothing had happened … finally justice is being served.”

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Twitter: @katemather | Google+
kate.mather@latimes.com

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