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Police investigate suicide of girl allegedly assaulted by boys

April 12, 2013|By A Times Staff Writer

Authorities said they investigated for months before arresting three teenage boys Thursday for allegedly sexually assaulting a girl who later took her own life.

The alleged attack took place last fall. Eight days after the incident, the girl -- a student at Saratoga High School in Santa Clara County -- took her own life, authorities said.

Santa Clara County Sheriff's Lt. Jose Cardoza told the Associated Press Thursday night that investigators on the high school campus developed information for several months that led to the arrests.

He also said the case is ongoing, and that authorities are also looking into the circumstances surrounding her suicide.

The boys, all 16, were taken into custody at two different high schools and booked into juvenile hall in connection with the attack on Audrie Pott, who hanged herself, authorites told Northern California media organizations.

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. Pott 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.

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."

Two of the boys attended Saratoga High School and the other attended Christopher High School in Gilroy. Audrie was a sophomore at Saratoga High. Saratoga is about 45 miles south of San Francisco.

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