Suicide of Audrie Pott

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Audrie Pott was a 15-year-old student at Saratoga High School in Saratoga, California who died by suicide on September 12, 2012. She had been sexually assaulted at a party eight days earlier by three of her classmates, Bronson Barna, Saha Ghafouri (or Saha Nicholas) and Vince Rositano, and pictures of the assault were posted online with accompanying bullying.

On September 30, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Audrie's Law, "a bill that increases penalties and decreases privacy protections for teens convicted of sex acts on someone who is passed out from drugs or alcohol or incapable of giving consent due to a disability".[1][2][3][4]

Background[edit]

On September 3, 2012, Pott went to party with about 10 other teenagers who were allegedly drunk.[5] Three or more of these teenagers sexually assaulted Pott. Three boys eventually pleaded guilty to and served time in juvenile hall for the sexual assault.[6] During the assault, photographs were taken and distributed via social network and MMS. In the following days, Pott was bullied by some who saw the photographs. On September 12, 2012, Pott killed herself by hanging.

Investigation[edit]

In April 2013, three sixteen-year-old boys were arrested in northern California on suspicion of sexual battery to Pott. Pott's parents also filed a lawsuit against the three teenagers, and in July 2013 they added a fifteen-year-old girl as a defendant in the suit, alleging she was present during the assault and later lied about it to help cover it up.[7]

Juvenile court case[edit]

Three teenage boys admitted in juvenile court to sexually assaulting and possessing photos of Audrie Pott, both felonies. Two of the three received 30-day sentences to be served on weekends. The other was sentenced to 45 consecutive days. Because of their ages, the three teenagers were not at first publicly identified, though they were later.[8]

Civil trial[edit]

A civil case filed by Pott's parents, to decide if the boys were responsible for her death, was originally set to go to forward to trial in April 2015.[9] The case reached settlement prior to going to trial. As part of the terms of settlement, two of the boys were required to verbally apologize in open court, admit again to the sexual assault, admit to their role in the death of Audrie Pott, agree to being filmed in a documentary, pay a combined $950,000, support the petition for an honorary diploma for Audrie Pott, and give 10 presentations on sexual assault and sexting.[10]

Documentary film[edit]

A documentary film titled Audrie and Daisy, about the sexual assaults and social media bullying of Audrie Pott and Daisy Coleman, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016.[11][12][13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]