Girl's parents want Saratoga teens charged as adults in assault case

(Audrie Pott Foundation/Facebook)

April 15, 2013 8:56:28 PM PDT
The three teens accused of sexually assaulting a Saratoga High School student who later killed herself will appear at a hearing Tuesday that could determine whether they will be tried as adults. The family of Audrie Pott is stepping up their effort to keep the boys charged in her attack in custody.

Audrie Pott's mother, stepmother and father are still trying to make sense of her suicide seven months ago. Last Thursday's arrest of three teenagers, whom they identified as members of the Saratoga High School football team, has them seeking justice.

"She made her feelings abundantly clear in the messages that we were left to find," Lisa Pott, Audrie's stepmother, said. "There is absolutely no doubt as to the reason why Audrie took her life, and the three people who were arrested are responsible for her death."

Pott is referring to messages they discovered later, sent to friends. In them, Audrie said her life was ruined after she was allegedly sexually assaulted after drinking and passing out at a friend's house while the parents were away.

"These boys, these men, these young men, have a history, they've shown no remorse; what they did was disgusting, what they did was...they did it sober," Larry Pott said.

The parents will be in juvenile court Tuesday to keep the three teenagers in custody. They are also filing a civil suit, claiming wrongful death.

Private investigators working for the family's attorney say they are running into silence as they try to talk to the 13 students at the party and their parents.

"The responses vary anywhere from 'my children were traumatized,' I assure you not nearly as much as the Pott family, and that 'we'll get back to you,'" Michael Leininger said. "Well, I feel like I'm selling Avon. The door gets shut on my face quite a bit, and it's very disheartening."

Audrie's mother wishes her daughter had turn to an adult for help.

"I think that Audrie did try to reach out to some of her friends for help, but she didn't reach out to an adult that knew how to handle the gravity of this situation," Shelia Pott said.

Although Audrie's suicide was first attributed to photos of her attack going viral, that turns out to be far from fact.

In the campus newspaper this weekend a team of student reporters interviewed dozens of Saratoga students. They concluded that pictures of Audrie being sexually assaulted were texted to other students, but not widely shared on social media sites as first described.

It's a story Audrie's father directly addressed at Monday's news conference.

"The student newspaper today reported, I believe, that they have evidence that 10 kids have seen these photographs; well we'd like the names of those 10 kids, you know, that's reasonable," Larry Pott said.

A student editor also penned an opinion piece titled Pott Case Twisted to Fit Anti-Cyber-Bullying Agenda, writing, "If there was a 'viral' photo, it wasn't very viral..."

"In her opinion, the whole school was talking about it; I don't care if it was 10 people who knew or a 100 people who knew," Lisa Pott said.

School officials in Saratoga said they have no record of Audrie reporting being bullied or seeking help.

Detectives have described some difficulty collecting evidence in the case. Private investigator Michael Leininger says tech-savvy students can easily hide pictures and texts.

"I encourage all parents to take a look at their kids phones," he said. "They're going offline and they're getting offline aps for texting and they're very difficult to recover, it's also a secretive way to communicate with their friends."


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