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

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…

  • Perdition 101

    Straight people with non gay supportive comments are of limits on your biased site.
    It figures.
    Silence the truth is the lefts and gays motto.

    • badman

      my comments get deleted or blocked too sometimes, for reasons I’m not sure of; and I’m not a conspiracy-theorist wack job like you. It happens; get over it. THe world is not out to get you.

      • Perdition 101

        In your case it’s because you are an idiot.
        Your response tells us that!
        Get lost loser!

    • Dakotahgeo, Pastor/Chaplain

      You’re damn lucky you’re even allowed to state your name, SFBs!!!

      • Dakotahgeo, Pastor/Chaplain

        This is in relation to Perdition 101!

  • Perdition 101

    Where are my posts CBS?

    • Dakotahgeo

      You’ve been found out, Perd. They’re ignoring them

  • clemdane

    It’s only a hate crime if the victim is black. No one else suffers any kind of discrimination. Don’t you guys know that?

  • Bob Fowler

    He wants the hate crime charge dropped? He did this out of love? Everything about poor Ravi’s actions was the template for hate crime. I guess cross burnings down south was just meant to spread Christianity?

  • HooDatIS?

    every time i think about what they did to this young man it makes me wanna beat the hell out of them
    he needs life in prison or deportion to serbia

  • Meme Meyagi

    gays destroy society that they live in. why is it that everyone knows that murder is bad, but when it comes to gays all of a sudden its ok to be gay? is it ok to be a murderer? this suicidal maniac took his own life and ruined 2 other lives as well, if this is not a destructive person, then what is?

    • badman

      I’ll bet you call yourself a “Christian,” don’t you, Meme? I’d really be curious to know.

      In any case, your mind is weak.

    • Dakotahgeo, Pastor/Chaplain

      You’re not a well person, are you, Meme? You may be visiting here from Africa, but we try to be a bit more civilized than your backwoods brothers and sisters over there. If you cannot learn the lessons of our society, it might do you well to return to the cradle of African civilization wence you came. I forgive you for your ignorance.

    • edward

      I think you have the fats backward!
      The two students who videotaped Mr. Clementi tried to ruin his life!

  • Dakotahgeo, Pastor/Chaplain

    Nothing short of the death penalty with no reprieve as was granted Mr. Tyler Clemti in the loss of his life. Sometimes one just has to do what is right, Justice be served!

    • Meme Meyagi

      indeed, we will start with killing you

      • Dakotahgeo, Pastor/Chaplain

        Meme, you’re not a well person. Seek help from a professional.

      • TomNJ

        No one killed Tyler. He took his own life. Now, if you want to blame the one who upset him, then I guess I would be responsible if an ex girlfriend took pills because I dumped her. Or if I loose custody of my kids and shoot myself, the judge and ex-wife should go to jail for doing that to me, right? Wrong.

  • badman

    This is Ravi saying: “If i’d known I could get in TROUBLE for hurting people, I wouldn’t have done it!”

    sometimes you gotta make an example to prove a point. in this case, he deserves to be made an example.

  • Bell Toller

    If Ravi was gay (but not openly)…would this be a hate crime?

    • Nec

      Good question. Why else would he have wanted to see two guys getting it on?

    • Bob Fowler

      I think that the ‘if Ravi was gay’ part of your question will be resolved once he and Bubba meet in the shower.

  • Gregory

    Let a jury decide Mr. Ravi’s fate. If an unstable gay man kills himself because he’s ashamed to be known as gay, is that a hate crime? Or is this really a civil suit about violation of privacy.

    • MIcha

      I don’t think Tyler killed himself SOLELY because he was outed. I am a straight woman and if someone recorded me having sex and posted it on the computer for all to see, I’d be a wreck too. It’s a total violation of someones right to privacy…

    • edward

      I can’t agree with you.Clementi’s stability or lack thereof, is not germane to the issue. Mr. Ravi purposely used the video to embarass and humiliate him. His actions are directly linked to clementi’s dispondancy and ultimate suicide.
      I’d call that an act of bias and most certainly hate.

      • Hellas

        If someone videotaped me, performing gay, straight or animal sex I wouldnt kill myself, I would find the bit– a– and cut off his legs (while videotaping it). Then Id make him watch it….no need for suicides….this was not a hate crime.

  • Joseph Didonato

    This is a hate crime!

  • edward

    Lets face facts.Would the “prank” have happened if the victim of it were not gay?
    There is no doubt that it should remain a hate crime.
    Mr. Ravi should have thought more carefully before launching into what he professes to have been a joke.

    • Hellas

      yes….teens and young adults “secretely” webcam each other….it’s not only a gay thing….wake up!

  • floyd bannister

    let’s be truthful here. if this man was not gay none of this would have happened at all. this is a hate crime in the truest sense of the word. to reduce this person’s charges and call it any less than a “hate crime” would be a crime in itself. he commited the crime, now he should pay for his actions.

    • Micha

      100% agree. Ravi wouldn’t have thought it was funny if Tyler hadn’t have been gay. I bet he’s never done this to any straight person. He’s just scared now because he realizes he could go to prison and his lawyers are grasping at straws… He should be scared. I have NO sympathy for people who intentionally hurt others.. Ravi should learn his lesson the hard way

    • Hellas

      Let’s be truthful, any person being recorded without their knowledge and being viewed by strangers would make them upset and could lead to suicidal thoughts or actions…..but making this a hate crime….come on. If he really had hate in his heart Im sure he could think of better ways to get his “hate” across….

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