Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi went into fellow student Molly Wei‘s room to secretly watch a streaming video of his roommate Tyler Clementi in a sexual encounter. He apparently did this twice.
On the 19th of September, Dharun Ravi tweeted:
“Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into Molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”
And on the 21st:
“Roommate asked for room again. People with iChat, I dare you to video chat me from 9:30 to 12″ Yes, It’s happening again.
Tyler Clementi changed his Facebook status to read
“Jumping off the gw bridge sorry”
He then did just that. Witnesses said he jumped around 9pm on the 22nd of September.
Update – October, 2011
Ravi has turned down a plea deal. (Source: USA Today.)
Dharun Ravi reiterated his intention to take his case to trial. If convicted, Ravi could face at least 10 years in prison. He faces 15 criminal counts, including bias intimidation and invasion of privacy. His trial starts on February 21, 2012.
An article in People also reports that a county judge determined that evidence related to Tyler Clementi’s depression and suicide isn’t relevant to the case against Ravi. That means Ravi’s attorney won’t be receiving these files, which are sealed. The judge did, however, rule that the name of Clementi’s partner and date of birth must be revealed to the defense attorney (for now, the man that Clementi was with in his dorm room during the webcam spying incident is only known as “M.B.”).
Molly Wei had agreed earlier in May 2011 to testify against Ravi as part of a deal. In return, she must perform 300 hours of community service, go through counseling, and work full time. After 3 years, the charges against her (invasion of privacy) will be dropped.
Update – June 2012
On March 16, 2012, Dharun Ravi was tried and convicted on all 15 counts. In May, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 300 hours of community service, and a $10,000 fine. He gets 3 years probation. In June, Ravi was released from jail after serving 20 days.