A new female classmate has been implicated in the bullying suicide of 15-year-old Audrie Pott. The fourth suspect is accused of encouraging three teen boys who sexually assaulted Pott as she was passed out drunk at a sleepover party in Saratoga, California last September. Pott hanged herself about a week later after seeing photos of the incident being passed around online.
The Pott family is currently suing the three boys, alleging they were sober when they assaulted her digitally and with a foreign object. They are also accused of using a marker to write on her and documenting the act with their cellphones. In June the family's attorney Robert Allard amended the civil suit claiming the fourth suspect, known as Jane C. because she is also a minor, "took actions to facilitate the acts described" and "aided, abetted and/or encouraged said acts" when she was present in the room where they occurred. The parents allege that the fourth suspect was egging on one or more of the boys during the assault and then zipped and buttoned Audrie's shorts and covered her with a blanket before leaving her alone in the room.
Audrie only learned about the assault later when explicit photos of her were passed around online. She pieced together the events from emails and text messages. About a week later, she took her own life after posting to Facebook that her life had been ruined.
The amended lawsuit also claims Jane C. lied about the events to Audrie and others in order to conceal her involvement or knowledge of the events. Jane C. and the three male defendants are accused of negligence, defamation, invasion of privacy, battery, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy.
The three teen boys, who had known Audrie for years, were all drinking at a house party in Saratoga thrown by a friend of Audrie's whose parents were away. The parents, Michael and Sheila Penuen, believed their own daughter was staying at Audrie's house. The Penuen's may also be liable in Audrie's wrongful death complaint because they gave their daughter and the party guests "unfettered access" to an unlocked liquor cabinet.