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Santa Clara sheriff still investigating assault, cyberbullying case

April 12, 2013|By Los Angeles Times Staff

Santa Clara County authorities said they are continuing to investigate both the alleged sexual assault of a 15-year-old Saratoga girl and her suicide days later last year.

Santa Clara County Sheriff's Lt. Jose Cardoza told the Associated Press that detectives continue to investigate both cases after three boys were arrested Thursday on suspicion of sexual assault.

He said authorities at Saratoga High School developed information for several months that led to the arrests.

Officials did not provide further details about where the case is now headed.

The boys, all 16, were taken into custody Thursday at two high schools in the San Jose area and booked into juvenile hall in connection with the attack on Audrie Pott, who hanged herself in September.

"What happened to Audrie was tragic. It should never have happened. I hope they are brought to justice," said Lauren Cerri, a Pott family attorney, told KGO-TV.

Cerri said the incident occurred at an unsupervised house party.

Officials with the Los Gatos-Saratoga school district released a statement to the San Jose Mercury News saying they are fully cooperating with authorities and that their "sympathies go out to all of the families."

"Collaborating with our parents, students, staff and community we will continue to work diligently to maintain a positive climate at our high schools based on respect, responsibility, and open communication that discourages cyber bullying and inappropriate conduct," the statement read.

Robert Allard, an attorney who represents the victim's family, said students shared photos of the attack on their cellphones, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Audrie, a sophomore at Saratoga High, posted on her Facebook page that her life was "ruined" and that she was enduring the "worst day ever" shortly before she took her life, Allard said.

On Facebook Friday, the family suggested that the boy tried to destroy evidence after the alleged attack.

The family created a foundation in Audrie's memory to support youths by awarding scholarships.

"She was compassionate about life, her friends, her family and would never do anything to harm anyone. She was in the process of developing the ability to cope with the cruelty of this world but had not quite figured it all out," a statement on the foundation's website says. "It would have been her wish that we could all learn from her unfortunate and tragic passing that somehow through the lessons learned that this tragedy could provide an impetus for change."

Saratoga is about 10 miles southwest of downtown San Jose.

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