SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Lawmakers are considering a bill that would give tougher punishments for those who sexually assault unconscious or disabled victims, though some are wondering if the law can prevent future attacks.

Senate Bill 838, authored by state Sen. Jim Beall is called Audrie’s Law. The bill comes after an incident in 2012 when 15-year-old Audrie Potts fell asleep after drinking alcohol at a friend’s party in Saratoga.

She awoke to learn she had been sexually assaulted and that pictures of the crime had been posted on the internet. Within days, she committed suicide.

Three teenage boys admitted to the assault, but spent only weeks in juvenile detention.

Her father, Lawrence Pott, testified on Tuesday, saying he was appalled to learn the suspects only spent a few weeks in jail.

“Two of them served just 30 days—the equivalent of weekend detention,” he said.

The bill demands harsher punishment for teens accused of sexually assaulting unconscious or disabled victims and tougher penalties if the crime is posted online.

It would also force the teen offender to spend two years in juvenile hall, which is a major sticking point for some lawmakers and youth advocates. They believe that will create an even more dangerous sexual predator.

The bill has now been continued until next week for further discussion.


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