Attorney: Friends Assaulted Calif. Suicide Victim

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“The family has been trying to understand why their loving daughter would have taken her life at such a young age and to make sure that those responsible would be held accountable,” Allard said.

“After an extensive investigation that we have conducted on behalf of the family, there is no doubt in our minds that the victim, then only 15 years old, was savagely assaulted by her fellow high school students while she lay on a bed completely unconscious,” he said.

Allard said students used cell phones to share photos of the assault and the images went viral on the Internet.

Santa Clara County sheriff’s Lt. Jose Cardoza said two of the teens were arrested at Saratoga High School and the third, a former Saratoga High student, at Christopher High School in Gilroy.

Cardoza said the suspects were booked into juvenile hall and face two felonies and one misdemeanor each.

The lieutenant said the investigation is ongoing.

The Associated Press 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 assault occurred in Saratoga, a bedroom community on the western edge of Silicon Valley. Once largely fruit orchards, it is now home to about 30,000 people, many of whom are affluent and highly educated.

Saratoga High School, with about 1,400 students, is one of the top schools in the state. Thirty percent of the current senior class are either semifinalists or commended in the National Merit Scholarship Program, and 97 percent of graduates enroll in college.

The girl’s family members have requested privacy until a planned news conference on Tuesday. Her father and step-mother, Lawrence and Lisa Pott, along with her mother Sheila Pott, have started the Audrie Pott Foundation to provide music and art scholarships and offer youth counseling and support.

The foundation website alludes to the teen’s struggles.

“She was compassionate about life, her friends, her family, and would never do anything to harm anyone,” the site says. “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.”

Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District Superintendent Bob Mistele offered sympathies to all the families involved in the case.

“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 cyberbullying and inappropriate conduct,” his statement said.

(Photo: AP)

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