Main | Wednesday, April 20, 2011

NEW JERSEY: Roommate Charged With Hate Crime In Suicide Of Rutgers Student

The roommate of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi (left) was today indicted on hate crime charges stemming from the secret webcasting of Clementi having sex with another man. Clementi leaped from the George Washington Bridge last year after learning about the broadcast.
Dharun Ravi, a former Rutgers University student, was indicted on 15 counts including charges of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation and tampering with evidence by a grand jury in Middlesex County, N.J. Prosecutors allege that not only did Ravi invade Clementi's privacy, but he tried to cover it up. Both Ravi and his alleged accomplice, former Rutgers student Molly Wei, are accused of filming Clementi during a "sexual encounter" in his dorm room with a man and then streaming it live on the Internet. Evidence against Wei has not yet been presented to a grand jury. Prosecutors allege that on Sept. 19 of last year, Ravi filmed Clementi with the purpose of intimidating him because of his sexual orientation. Ravi "disclosed a photograph, film, videotape, recording or other reproduction of the image of [Clementi]...whose intimate parts were exposed," the indictment reads. When Ravi became worried about being charged with a crime, he sent false tweets in an attempt "to mislead a public servant who was engaged in such proceeding or investigation," the indictment reads.
Clementi's parents have released a statement applauding today's charges.

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