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Audrie Pott's family plans to speak about assault, arrests

April 15, 2013|By Kate Mather

The family of a 15-year-old Northern California girl who committed suicide after she was allegedly sexually assaulted last fall planned to speak to reporters Monday.

It would be their first public comments since three teens were arrested last week in connection with the alleged assault.

Audrie Pott's family will join attorney Robert Allard to talk about the investigation and alleged assault, according to a spokesman for the family. They plan to ask students to come forward with any information they might have.

On Thursday, seven months after the alleged attack, authorities arrested three 16-year-old boys on suspicion of sexual battery. Two of the teenagers, whose names were not released, attend Saratoga High School, where Audrie was a student. The third is a former Saratoga student who now goes to a different high school.

Allard said a photo was taken of the alleged attack that quickly circulated among Audrie's classmates.

The teenager wrote on her Facebook page that it was the "worst day ever," Allard said. "The whole school knows," she wrote. "My life is like ruined now."

A week after the alleged attack, Audrie committed suicide. An investigation into both is ongoing.

The suspects' attorneys -- Eric S. Geffon, Alan M. Lagod and Benjamin W. Williams -- said in a statement that there has been much inaccurate reporting in the case.

"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 lawyers said.

None of the boys had ever been in trouble with the law before, according to the statement, which concluded: "Due to the juvenile nature of the proceedings, we believe it inappropriate to comment further at this time."

A candlelight vigil honoring Audrie has been scheduled for Friday, according to the Audrie Pott Foundation, established by her family after her death.

The incident is one of several involving alleged assaults and cyberbulling that have attracted headlines in recent months. Last month, two Ohio high school football stars were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl. A photo was circulated showing the girl naked and unconscious.

In Canada, a woman said her 17-year-old daughter hanged herself this month, more than a year after she was allegedly sexually assaulted at a house party.

In a lengthy Facebook message, Leah Parsons claimed her daughter was bullied and became depressed after a photo of the alleged assault went viral at her high school.

Police investigated that incident, but no charges were filed. Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry last week asked government officials whether it would be possible to review the case.

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

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