Judge Refuses To Dismiss Charges In Rutgers Suicide Case

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The judge in the case of against a former Rutgers University student who is accused of broadcasting his roommate’s same-sex encounter over the web has refused to dismiss the charges.

Lawyers for Dharun Ravi asked 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.

A judge ruled prosecutors have provided sufficient evidence to a grand jury for Ravi to be accused of invading Clementi’s privacy, bias intimidation and an attempted cover-up.

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.

Read The Documents: Vol. 1 | Vol. II Part 1 | Vol. II Part 2 | Vol. III | Vol. IV (pdf)

In August, Ravi’s defense lawyer Steven Altman said in a brief that his client was not spying on Clementi.

Altman said Ravi initially turned on his webcam from a friend’s computer to see what was going on in the dorm room because he was concerned about whether the man Clementi had over might steal Ravi’s iPad. He stopped watching “two seconds” after seeing the men kissing, Altman said.

The judge ruled today the name of the other party involved in the caught-on-cam encounter be released to Davi’s defense attorneys.

Ravi’s lawyers also argued that prosecutors did not present evidence that Ravi would have broken the law by using a webcam to monitor what was happening in the dorm room he shared with Clementi, that he actually viewed any sexual images from his webcam, that he copied or distributed them, or that he deleted Twitter posts about what was on the webcam to hide evidence from investigators.

Altman also provided text messages he said Ravi sent Clementi at roughly the same time as the suicide. In the messages, Altman says Ravi expressed feeling guilty about what happened, and said he wanted to make amends.

19-year-old Molly Wei 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…

  • David Ruffin

    Equally disturbing is why Tyler Clementi……after all, it is 2011, not 1911 or even 1971…..was so closeted that he decided the only way to deal with being outed was to jump off a bridge and kill himself. He came from an enlightened East Coast town……he had all kinds of counseling and information available to him……I am in no way condoning what Ravi and Wei did, but we’ve read nothing about Clementi’s parents…..any open dialogue in their home? No kid should be yanked out of the closet this way, but to end it all by suicide because he was seems to me that maybe…just maybe…..Clementi was not a balanced person. Conclusion…Ravi should be punished but in his wildest dreams, did he think that suicide would happen? Of course not.

  • Steve

    Was this the first time the guy brought home another guy? Was Ravi’s dorm rights violated? Maybe the dude was sick of his roomate bringing home a stranger. Obviously, the guy killed himself because of his inability to be open about who he was. Oh, thats HIS right, without regard to anyone else. Someone always needs to take the blame. This is a push. Should be treated as one.

  • Neo Noircat

    Nice deal for Ms. Wei, but I guess the law still gives women a pass.

  • Curious George

    Who is the other man? What is his name? Is is he from Rutgers?

  • Claude

    I think Ravi bears the brunt of the blame. From everything I’ve read, he plotted this out in advance and with malicious intent. The female student apparently got caught up in it because he activated the webcam from her computer, but it doesn’t appear that she was a co-conspirator. I think Ravi’s cruelty and self-centeredness hurt her as well as Mr. Clementi, and I hope Ravi gets the book thrown at him. It’s not a gay-straight issue, but just one of humane decency or the lack thereof.

  • hilarie

    GOOD!!! Those charges should stay. Hope the both of them get what they deserve!!

  • nrichard

    They both committed a despicable crime and both should be put under the jail. Why anyone would think what they did is ok is beyond the realm of comprehension. No one – absolutely no one should have to worry about having their personal lives distributed or viewed without their knowledge in their home and yes, the dorm room was his home!



blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live