Parents of Audrie Pott demand expulsions

Audrie Pott

GILROY—The parents of a Saratoga teen who killed herself in 2012 after photos were taken and shared online of her being sexually abused while unconscious have called for the expulsion of the trio that pleaded guilty last year to the crime.
Audrie Pott, 15, took her on life in September 2012, eight days after assailants took turns sexually attacking her and drawing on her body after she passed out at a party, according to court records. Her assailants shared photos taken during the attack on social media, court records indicate.
The victim believed death was her only way out of the shame she felt, her parents said in a petition posted Feb. 12 on calling for principals at Christopher High School in Gilroy, where one is a senior, and Saratoga High School to expel the boys.
“My life is over,” Pott wrote in a Facebook post before her suicide.
The boys, 16 and 17, pleaded guilty in juvenile court in January 2014 to felony digital penetration and possession of photographs of Pott. They were sentenced to from 30 to 45 days in a juvenile detention facility and served their time on weekends.
The Pott family in its online petition urged the principals to kick the convicted assailants out of school in order to set an example that ‘slut shaming’ will not be tolerated. That term is used in social media to describe the type of humiliation forced on victims such as Pott, whose family has filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit against Audrie’s attackers and their families.
The Pott family alleges that no disciplinary actions were taken against the guilty students and that they were allowed to participate in athletics and missed no school.
“Allowing these students to continue attending these schools sets an example to other students and athletes that this type of criminal behavior will be tolerated without regard for victim’s rights or the safety of the other students on campus,” the petition reads.
Christopher High School Principal Paul Winslow and Gilroy Unified School District Superintendent Debbie Flores did not return calls requesting comment on the petition. 
Following the assailants’ guilty pleas last year, Pott family spokesman Ed Vasquez told the Dispatch that “as much as we’d love to comment” on the juvenile proceedings, the law prohibited him from doing so.
Certain crimes, such as forcible rape, sodomy and oral copulation, when allegedly committed by a juvenile, can be tried in adult court with proceedings opened to the public. But the list doesn’t include sexual offenses when the victim is in a defenseless state, the family said in its online petition.
In states such as Tennessee and Ohio, the Pott family said in its petition, the crimes committed against Audrie would have resulted in rape charges and the guilty would be registered sex offenders.
“But not in California,” they wrote in the petition. “The criminal charges and identities of her assailants were protected by the juvenile justice system.”
“Because of (the boys’) actions, Audrie will not be able to graduate from high school,” they continued. “Her assailants should not have the honor of walking across that stage either.”

Leave your comments