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Lawyer: Assaulted teen had drawings, name on body

By Martha Mendoza

AP National Writer

LAST UPDATED: 01:43 p.m. HST, Apr 15, 2013

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 today 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 in Gilroy where he currently was a student. They have been held in the county juvenile detention center 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 defense 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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Usagi336 wrote:
These boys no mo class.
on April 15,2013 | 07:51AM
loquaciousone wrote:
These boys no mo future.
on April 15,2013 | 07:57AM
cojef wrote:
Worse, may have to register as a sex offender if convicted.
on April 15,2013 | 09:19AM
serious wrote:
Where were the parents--no supervision.
on April 15,2013 | 08:09AM
aomohoa wrote:
I hate to see it but kids sneak out or do not tell their parents the truth about where they are going. Kids want to grow up too fast. That does not make them any less monsters! These monsters may not have been taught any respect.
on April 15,2013 | 08:42AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
serious, exactly. This is what might happen when parents leave their kids home alone without proper supervision and no warnings of consequences. If I had to leave my kids home overnight, my neighbors and relatives would be dropping in regularly and doing drivebys and surveillances. Then again, I wouldn't leave them home overnight. Aunty and Uncle sleeping over, or they sleeping Grandma's house.
on April 15,2013 | 09:55AM
kainalu wrote:
Like the parents, the outrage is the fact that the boys are not accepting responsibility. That would make a difference. What they did was wrong. Apparently, there's no remorse, perhaps denial even.
on April 15,2013 | 08:59AM
Mythman wrote:
How did she find the time to do it? Who left her alone to deal with this? Why wasn't she better protected by her family, whose apparent negligence might have contributed to this tragedy. I would never leave a child alone when obviously in such a fragile state.......
on April 15,2013 | 09:20AM
aomohoa wrote:
Give the parents a break Mythman, Crucify the boys
on April 15,2013 | 09:40AM
Usagi336 wrote:
News reports say that the parents were unaware of the incident that happened to their daughter. They did not find out about it until after their daughter was gone.
on April 15,2013 | 10:07AM
Workingrl wrote:
Parents did not know she had been attacked till after her suicide.
on April 15,2013 | 12:23PM
stingray65 wrote:
Firing squad!
on April 15,2013 | 09:31AM
NotNasti wrote:
Young girls should not drink alcohol at parties. If they do, the need to prearrange with trustworthy boys to watch over them, to make sure nothing like this happens.
on April 15,2013 | 10:05AM
serious wrote:
If you drink Gatorade, or orange juice and it's laced with vodka, I defy you to tell the difference and this sleepover probably had access to alcohol but not parents. Heck, my kids had sleepovers at out house--we kept our distance but we watched!! It's called supervision!!!
on April 15,2013 | 11:58AM
moiman wrote:
on April 15,2013 | 12:05PM
Workingrl wrote:
The parents of the girl who held the party are also responsible for leaving a minor without supervision and a full liquor cabinet.
on April 15,2013 | 12:24PM
awahana wrote:
All 4 sets of parents share responsibility, for the values they taught their children...
on April 15,2013 | 12:42PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
That poor girl went thru hell and now her accusers will follow that path.
on April 15,2013 | 12:51PM
Mallory wrote:
if there are photos of these boys sexually assaulting her, karma would allow them to be sexually assaulted in prison and photos and videos taken to be passed around to their family and friends so they can feel the humiliation and degradation they are guilty of doing to someone else
on April 15,2013 | 01:27PM
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