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Settlement in Teen’s Nude-Shaming Suicide

SAN JOSE (CN) - Two teenagers who sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl and passed around a nude photo of her at school before she committed suicide agreed to settle the wrongful death case brought by her parents.

The boys, now 18, agreed to pay Audrie Pott's family $950,000 and make public apologies.

Pott attended a high school classmate's party on Sept. 2, 2012, during which she passed out drunk, according to the lawsuit filed two years ago by Sheila and Lawrence Pott.

Three boys sexually assaulted Audrie while she was unconscious, drew and wrote on her and took pictures of her naked body. The photographs circulated around school through text, email and Facebook.

Audrie suffered acute embarrassment, shame and humiliation. She hanged herself eight days after the party.

She died on Sept. 12, 2012.

The boys were arrested in April 2013 and pleaded guilty to the assault during private juvenile proceedings. Two of the boys received 30-day sentences, which they served during weekends, and the third served a 45-day sentence in juvenile detention, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

One of the three boys settled out of court with Audrie's parents in March. The terms of that settlement have not been disclosed.

The other two boys, John B. and John R., settled with the Potts on Friday, days before their trial was to begin.

Under the settlement, the families of the two boys will pay $950,000, which will come from their homeowners' insurance companies. The boys also had to apologize to the Potts and acknowledge that Audrie was not to blame for the sexual assault.

"Settling this case was difficult, as the non-monetary terms were so important to us, to shed light on the actions that led to this tragedy," the Potts posted on their Audrie Pott Foundation Facebook page. "We wanted to clear Audrie's name and move forward in a way that allows for healing and a spirit of forgiveness. What was agreed to outside of the insurance settlement was ground-breaking."

The boys "publicly admitted to sharing inappropriate photos of Audrie to others and apologized for denying that and spreading false rumors about Audrie. Finally, they admitted that Audrie was unconscious and did not consent to any sexual acts that evening. They said, 'She was a good and principled person who did not deserve what happened,'" the parents said on the website.

The teens' public apology was required to state, in part: "Audrie wasn't conscious during the criminal acts that we committed and did not consent to what we did. Audrie did not consent nor was involved in any voluntary sexual acts that evening. I also apologize for false rumors about Audrie that served to shame and humiliate her."

The boys, who were 15 and 16 at the time of the assault, also agreed to give 10 presentations to high schools or other youth organizations about the dangers of drinking, sexting, nude photos and shaming.

In addition, they must be interviewed for a documentary during which they must provide an honest and open account of the events of the night of the party, though they do not have to show their faces or identify themselves.

The Potts said in their Facebook post that they can now focus their efforts "on sexual awareness, anti-cyberbullying and saving lives."

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