Prosecutors Want To Upgrade 1 Charge In Rutgers Webcam Case

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Authorities want to upgrade one of the charges against a former Rutgers student accused of using a webcam to spy on his roommate’s intimate encounter with another man.

Dharun Ravi is charged with bias intimidation, invasion of privacy and hindering prosecution.

Judge Glenn Berman says he caught mistakes in the hindering charges. One was a lower grade than it should have been and two were higher.

Prosecutors are asking to upgrade the one that was too low. But Berman says it might not be fair to make Ravi pay for a mistake the judge caught.

Ravi allegedly used a webcam to watch his roommate, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, have an intimate encounter with another man, known only as M.B., in their dorm room in Sept. 2010. Prosecutors said the video was then streamed live in an Internet chat room.

Clementi later jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge.

In Jan., a judge ruled that M.B.’s full name will be on a list of potential witnesses on a questionnaire jurors will fill out. Attorneys customarily provide the lists to ensure no potential juror knows a potential witness.

In Oct. of 2011, M.B. told a judge in a written statement he feared his name will leak out to the public if it is released to jurors.

Jury selection for Ravi’s trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 21.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • RoyBoySays

    Lets not forget,his co defendant,a cute little asian female was granted the PreTrial Intervention Program,so she would testify against Ravi,and then get her charged dismissed. He should be granted the same outcome…………why does the stool pigeon get special treatment

    • Michael H.

      She’s getting special treatment because she cooperated with authorities, unlike her cohort, who doesn’t even seem to show remorse for his actions.

  • John Ortega

    How do we even know that his suicide was SOLELY caused by this one incident? It seems likely that Tyler had many issues he was dealing with, and this may have been the final straw. But it was hardly the sole cause of his suicide. By the way, the real, sole cause of his suicide was TYLER deciding to go jump off a bridge.

    • Michael H.

      They’re not charging him with the kid’s death. They’re charging him with his invasion of privacy and what basically amounts to obstruction of justice. These charges, including the biased intimidation charge, could be brought against Ravi even if Clementi didn’t kill himself.

  • JA

    Ravi is not being charged with causing the death of Tyler Clementi, so this comment is irrelevant. He is being charged with his own illegal actions, such as Internet spying and destroying evidence.

    • John Ortega

      He had a web cam on IN HIS OWN ROOM. You could charge hundreds of thousands of parents for spying on their babysitters under that reasoning.

      • Nick

        Nope. In a SHARED room. And Clementi has a reasonable expectation of privacy. You Rutgers students are pretty dumb.

      • Michael H.

        the babysitter would be in SOMEBODY ELSE’S HOUSE. your analogy is laughable and it is painfully obvious you didn’t think it through.

  • John Albert

    This whole trial is a waste of time and about political correctness. It is nothing but biased white establishment trying to tell Asians that we are the boss. If Tyler Clementi or anyone else goes and jumps in the river – how it is the fault of someone else? His parents should have told him not to do or say any thing that he will feel ashamed of accepting in the public in front of everyone. they are now trying to find a person to blame death of stupid person who was ashamed and responsible for his own actions.

    • Michelle

      This has nothing to do with political correctness . It is an issue of basic privacy and the rights of the individual., Tyler not his partner did not consent to having their images broadcast -Dharun and his friend (not named in this article) recorded the images in secret and then broadcast them. An individual has the expectation of privacy within their own home (in this case dorm room). We all do things in privacy of homes that we’d rather not or are not ready to share with the world. Not everyone wants to broadcast their sex tape, or be shown dancing in the nude, french kissing their dog, or picking their nose to the world. Men who set up cameras in the women’s bathrooms or dressing rooms are rightly labelled perverts and charged with a crime. Dahrun is no different. he commited a crime. Just because you can do something does not confer on you the right to do legally or morally.

    • Rosie

      Seriously, trying to spin this into an issue of racism. This Ravi kid deserves his punishments. He deserved to be kicked out of school and he deserves to be sitting in front of a judge. Do you think if this happened to someone in your family, sister, brother, daughter or son, that you would make this about race? Tyler’s suicide has nothing to do with the fact that this kid invaded the privacy of his roommate and aired an intimate situation without consent. Ravi turned what was happening behind closed doors into pornography. If Tyler did not kill himself -sure- this would not be as public, but Ravi would still have to deal with the same consequenses.

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