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Remembering Audrie Pott: Three Boys Arrested In Sex Assault Of Girl Who Took Her Life
April 12, 2013
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remembering-audrie-pott-three-boys-arrested-in-sex-assault-of-15-year-old-who-hanged-herself-after-photos-spread-online-feature1.jpg

As Rehtaeh Parsons' family prepares for her funeral tomorrow in Halifax, a similarly tragic story is unfolding in the United States.

A 15-year-old girl named Audrie Pott committed suicide last fall, eight days after she was allegedly sexually battered while passed out a party.

And just like in Rehtaeh's case, photos of the assault were posted online.

A few days before she hanged herself, Audrie posted on Facebook: "They took pictures of me. My life is ruined. This is the worst day ever."

Now, seven months later, police in northern California have arrested three 16-year-old boys on charges of sexual battery.

remembering-audrie-pott-three-boys-arrested-in-sex-assault-of-15-year-old-who-hanged-herself-after-photos-spread-online-feature2.jpg "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," said Robert Allard, a lawyer for Audrie's family.

"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."

Audrie took her life after she found out the boys showed photos of the attack around school and posted them online, so other students could share them.

Police say the suspects are being held in juvenile hall. They're facing two felony charges and one misdemeanor each, all related to sexual battery.

Their names were not released because they're minors. They're expected to appear in court next Monday or Tuesday to be formally charged.

Here's a report from the ABC News affiliate in San Jose.

Reports say Audrie went to a party at a friend's house whose parents were away. She drank too much and passed out in a bedroom.

"Based on what we know, she was unconscious, there were multiple boys in the room with her," Allard told NBC Bay Area. "They did unimaginable things to her while she was unconscious."

Audrie's parents want her name and story known and want the boys prosecuted as adults.

"What these boys did is beyond unconscionable," Allard told NBC. "They should be held to the highest standard of the law to make sure this never ever happens again."

Audrie's parents didn't find out about the attack until after she had died. Many students at her high school say they knew the boys who were involved and can't understand why it took police so long to arrest them.

remembering-audrie-pott-three-boys-arrested-in-sex-assault-of-15-year-old-who-hanged-herself-after-photos-spread-online-feature4.jpg

Family and friends say Audrie was a creative, artistic girl who played piano and soccer for her school team.

Since her death, her father, step-mother and mother have created the Audrie Pott Foundation to provide music and art scholarships, and offer youth counseling and support to students in the San Francisco Bay Area.

remembering-audrie-pott-three-boys-arrested-in-sex-assault-of-15-year-old-who-hanged-herself-after-photos-spread-online-feature3.jpg "She was compassionate about life, her friends, her family, and would never do anything to harm anyone," the website 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.

"Ultimately, she had not yet acquired the antibiotics to deal with the challenges present for teens in today's society."

Two days after Audrie died, hundreds of students and staff wore her favorite color, teal, during a school memorial to honour her memory.

Her family is expected to hold a news conference next Tuesday.

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