Audrie Pott family to sue teens and their families for 'wrongful death' (+video)
Audrie Pott's family plans to sue the three boys charged with raping their daughter and texting photographs in a bid to curb an 'epidemic of sexual assault and cyberbullying amongst teens.'
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Eight days later, Audrie hung herself.Skip to next paragraph
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At the press conference, Mr. Pott and family attorney Robert Allard said they were particularly troubled by a recent statement from the boys' lawyers, in which they said that "most disturbing is the attempt to link [Audrie's] suicide to the specific actions of these three boys."
"They will apparently have you believe that what they did and what Audrie did was just a coincidence," Mr. Allard said.
Audrie's stepmother, Lisa Pott, also read aloud from numerous things Audrie had written in the days following the alleged assault, many in private messages to friends on Facebook. Among other things, says Ms. Pott, she wrote: "My life is ruined.... The whole school is talking about it. My life is over.... I have a reputation for a night I don't even remember and the whole school knows."
According to Audrie's school newspaper, the Saratoga High School Falcon, claims by the Potts' lawyer that the photos went "viral" and the "whole school knew" are exaggerated. About 10 students, mostly those who were at the party, saw the photos, sources told the student reporters.
When asked about those reports, Audrie's family dismissed the notion that the actual number of people who had seen the photos mattered.
"In her mind, it was an epidemic, everyone was talking about it," said Ms. Pott.
The family members pleaded for more people who might know additional information – particularly about evidence that may have been destroyed – to come forward.
"They’ve reported 10 kids have seen these photographs – well, we’d like the names of those 10 kids," said Mr. Pott, noting that "there's a difference between being a witness and being a suspect."
Lawyers for the three boys have said that much of what has been reported in recent days is inaccurate. "We are hopeful that everyone understands that these boys, none of whom have ever been in trouble with the law, are to be regarded as innocent," they said in a statement.
Audrie's parents and stepmother, meanwhile, said that while the recent media attention has opened up old wounds for them, they're being as public as they can be in an effort not only to further the case against the three boys they blame for their daughter's death, but also to help raise awareness of these issues in other cases.
"As difficult as this is, we know that people can learn from it," said Ms. Pott. "No one should have to lose their daughter in this horrific way, and we wanted to start a dialogue so that these sexual assaults are no longer swept under the carpet."
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