Teens Arrested on Sexual Assault Charges Following Saratoga Suicide

The girl's parents did not know about the alleged sexual assault until after her death

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    Three teenage boys are under arrest, facing possible charges in connection with what police say was the sexual assault of a 15-year-old female Saratoga High School student. Monte Francis reports. (Published Thursday, Apr 11, 2013)

    Three teenage boys are under arrest, facing possible charges in connection with what police say was the sexual assault of a 15-year-old female Saratoga High School student.

    Counselor Says Social Media Can Exacerbate Teen Angst

    [BAY] Counselor Says Social Media Can Exacerbate Teen Angst
    Palo Alto counselor Connie Mayer said that social media postings can exacerbate teenage life in the context of a girl who was raped and then committed suicide after photos of her were posted online. George Kiriyama reports. (Published Friday, Apr 12, 2013)

    Attorney Robert Allard, who represents the girl’s family, says the teen committed suicide after photos of the alleged attack were published online.

    “Based on what we know, she was unconscious, there were multiple boys in the room with her,” Allard said. “They did unimaginable things to her while she was unconscious.”

    On Sept. 10, 2012, eight days after the alleged assault, the girl, Audrie Pott, committed suicide.

    NBC Bay Area doesn't normally identify victims of sexual assault or suicide, but have used the girl’s name in this report with her parents’ permission. They are hoping the story will help prevent something like this from every happening to anyone else.

    The family’s attorney says the girl took her life after learning that her attackers took photos during the assault, and then published them online and showed them around school.

    Allard said, in the days that followed the attack, the girl wrote on her Facebook page, “The whole school knows…. My life is ruined.”

    The Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office would not comment on the case because the suspects are minors.

    The sheriff’s department said all three boys are 16 years old and were arrested Thursday in connection with two felony charges and one misdemeanor charge of sexual battery.  Two of them were arrested on the Saratoga High School campus in the  morning and the third was arrested in Gilroy.

    Allard says two of the boys are students at Saratoga High School and the third is a student at Christopher High School in Gilroy. 

    All three are being held at Juvenile Hall until a detention hearing on Monday or Tuesday, but as of yet, have not been charged with a crime.

    The girl’s parents, who didn’t find out about the attack until after their daughter’s death, want the boys prosecuted as adults.

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

    This horrific details of the alleged crime were only exacerbated by social media, said teen counselor, Connie Mayer of Palo Alto.

    "Teens can say whatever they want on a typed screen and then push 'send' without having to think and feel about the ramifications and see the feelings, the results of what that can do to a peer," she said.

    NBC Bay Area's George Kiriyama contributed to this report.