The family of Audrie Pott has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the boys accused of sexually assaulting her before the teenager's tragic suicide.
"We intend to prove in a court of law that her death was related to what they did," attorney Bob Allard said of the alleged rape and bullying she endured.
Allard said the decision was precipitated by comments made by the defendants' lawyers, who said the three boys, should be "regarded as innocent."
They further advised the public to reserve judgment about the case.
"Much of what has been reported over the last several days is inaccurate," said the suspects' three lawyers in a joint statement over the weekend.
"Most disturbing is the attempt to link [Audrie's] suicide to the specific actions of these three boys," who are all 16 and were her high school classmates.
Allard said the family of Audrie Pott was deeply distressed over that statement, and that it "sent them over the edge" and led to the lawsuit filing.
He accused the opposition of the "blame the dead victim defense."
Police say Pott was sexually assaulted at a party by the trio of schoolmates at a house near San Jose, Calif., while she was passed out and incoherent.
Eight days later, Allard says Pott learned photos of the alleged assault were shared on social media. "Worst day ever," Pott wrote on her Facebook page.
She then hanged herself.
"There's no doubt that the combination of the assault and the torture by cyberbullying caused Audrie to end her life," Allard told Yahoo! News Friday.
The names of the suspects, who were arrested at their schools Thursday and charged with sexual battery, were not released because they are minors.
Pott's family asked that their late daughter's name be revealed in this case to bring publicity to the case and the issues of sexual assault and bullying.