Audrie Pott’s Parents Demand More Punishment

Family members of a Saratoga teen who took her own life after being “slut shamed” on social media are demanding that her sexual assailants be expelled from their high schools. A petition posted by Audrie Pott’s parents, which named each of the three boys, has garnered nearly 24,000 signatures since it was posted Feb. 11.

“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 victims’ rights or the safety of other students on campus,” the petition states.

In September 2012, Audrie, 15 years old, passed out during a Labor Day weekend party. Three teens, two of them her classmates, took turns sexually assaulting her. They also took turns scribbling crass comments with a black permanent marker all over her naked body. All the while, they took photos on their phones, which were forwarded to classmates and circulated on social media. Audrie hanged herself eight days later.

The three teens, aged 16 to 17, pleaded guilty to the attack and taking photos in January 2014. A judge sentenced them to 30 to 45 days in juvenile detention, which they served on weekends.

Pott’s family says principals at Saratoga and Christopher high schools took no disciplinary action against the attackers.

“Because of their actions, Audrie will not be able to graduate from high school, and her assailants should not have the honor of walking across that stage either,” the petition states.

After their daughter’s death, Audrie’s parents fought for the passage of “Audrie’s Law,” which allows judges to name sex offenders who attack the unconscious or disabled.

If this case were tried in Tennessee or Ohio, the Pott family says, the crime against Audrie would have resulted in rape charges. The Pott family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the three attackers, which comes up in court later this month.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. The whole point of punishment is to disrupt someones life enough until they reach a point of introspectiveness. This is where atonement begins. Had the attackers been from ESSJ, poor, and only able to afford a public defender, they would have had the book thrown at them.

    Serving on weekends isn’t equal to the torment this poor girl got. Hopefully her parents are seeking civil damages, and the attackers will lose enough money to be forced to live underneath the shield of affluence.

  2. “A judge sentenced them…” Here’s a tip: old school journalists always reported Who, What, When, Where, Why. So Who was “A judge”? In the future, just say the name.

  3. Let all that has been hidden be revealed in the court of law under “OATH” in the civil trial next month
    Lawrence Pott v. Shelia Pott Palo Alto Police Dept/ Mountain View Police Dept. 1-01FL103366 domestic violence, spousal abuse/ battery, possession of a controlled substance, DUI X 2!! PUBLIC RECORD!!!

  4. Jennifer: there has been a lot of silence for the last year or so about the civil suit filed against several people as a result of this tragedy. Can you tell us what the status of that suit is? I’d wager some defendants’ insurance companies have settled, but have all defendants settled?

  5. The primary purpose for judicial punishment are #1 Deterrent, #2 Protect the Public, #3 Rehabilitation. Our society has typically focuses on revenge and punishment (making people who do bad things pay), which serves no constructive purpose. Now, in this case, 1st, deterrent. This “essentially zero” consequence for the perpetrators says to other boys, go for it dude! Protection, these boys will go on being a menace to society and harmful in there future relations with woman. Rehab? Nothing here for them. No consequence means no accountability meaning the system will have no influence on correcting there attitudes. I total failure all the way around! I guess these precepts are absent from what they teach in law school, and absent from those who legislate criminal law. We have convoluted our laws to the point of absurdity.

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