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Lawyers For Former Rutgers Student Dharun Ravi Want Hate Crime Charge Dropped

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Tyler Clementi (credit: Handout), Dharun Ravi (credit: Julio Cortez/AP)

Tyler Clementi (credit: Handout), Dharun Ravi (credit: Julio Cortez/AP)

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Lawyers for a former Rutgers student will ask that a hate crime charge against him be thrown out.

Dharun Ravi is accused of remotely activating his webcam to spy on a same-sex encounter between his roommate Tyler Clementi and another man.

Days after the incident, Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.

Ravi’s attorneys claim prosecutors are withholding evidence that could help clear their client.

The most serious charge against Ravi is bias intimidation, which alleges that Ravi acted because Clementi was gay, and carries prison time. Ravi pleaded not guilty.

Dharun Ravi remained silent during his arraignment on May 23.

The court appearance was brief, but the Clementi family — joined by one of Tyler’s brothers, who bears a striking resemblance to Tyler — were in the courtroom and their short statement afterward spoke volumes about their desire to see Ravi face a stiff punishment.

“Today, Mr. Ravi is being arraigned on multiple counts alleging criminal acts against our son, Tyler. Our family is grateful for the active work of the prosecutor’s office in this case. We are eager to see the criminal justice process move forward,” said Joe Clementi, Tyler’s father.

The Clementis also spoke in May following a court appearance for 19-year-old Molly Wei. Prosecutors said she and Ravi watched the webcam encounter from her dorm room.

She accepted a plea deal, and entered a pre-trial intervention program, which will allow for the criminal charges against her to be dropped if she upholds her end of the agreement. That could include her testimony against Ravi.

If Ravi is guilty, what would the appropriate punishment be in this case? Sound off in our comments section below…

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