California could toughen penalties for young people convicted of sexually assaulting someone who is unconscious.

On a 34-0 vote Wednesday, the state Senate approved a bill named after 15-year-old Audrie Pott.

She fell asleep in 2012 after drinking at a friend's party in her hometown of Saratoga, southwest of San Jose. She awakened to find herself partially clothed and lewd comments scribbled on her body.

A photograph of her body was shared among her classmates, and she later hanged herself.

SB838 by Democratic Sen. Jim Beall of San Jose would close what he calls a loophole in state law that provides lesser penalties for juveniles if a victim is unconscious and does not have the ability to fight off a sexual assault.

-- The Associated Press