NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Rutgers University student, who was allegedly secretly taped having sex in his dorm room, took his own life, according to his family’s lawyer.

Attorney Paul Mainardi confirmed what law enforcement sources had said earlier — that 18-year-old Tyler Clementi jumped from the George Washington Bridge last week.

At his family home in Ridgewood, Clementi’s parents kept to themselves, but released a statement.

“Tyler was a fine young man and a distinguished musician,”‘ the statement read, “the family is heartbroken beyond words.”

His body has not been recovered but officials said Clementi’s wallet was found on the bridge and his car was found nearby.

A body was recovered Wednesday afternoon at 218th Street in the Inwood section of Manhattan. However, authorities have made no connection with Clementi’s death. Authorities are awaiting the Medical Examiner to determine the race, age and cause of death of the recovered body.

Friends said Clementi left a chilling message on his Facebook page that read “Jumping off the gw bridge sorry” on September 22nd at 8:45 p.m.

Dozens gathered in the heart of Rutgers Wednesday night to remember Clementi and plead for a safer campus, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported.

Students stunned by the humiliation and suicide of the Rutgers University freshman said they wanted to ensure the entire community was aware of the tragedy.

“We are profoundly saddened by this report, and our hearts and prayers are with the parents, family, and friends of this young man, who had started at Rutgers this semester as a first-year student on the New Brunswick campus,” university President Richard McCormick wrote in a letter to the campus, “if the charges are true, these actions gravely violate the university’s standards of decency and humanity.”

Dharun Ravi, 18, was charged with two counts of invasion of privacy after allegedly putting a camera in Clementi’s room and transmitting a sexual encounter over the Internet.

Danielle Birnbohn lives next door to the dorm room Clementi shared with Ravi.

“[Clementi] was considered a missing person and yesterday they were cleaning out his room.” Birnbohn said. “All the hearsay around the dorm was it was on Skype.”

On campus, students were totally surprised, especially those who briefly got to know Clementi.

“Somewhat guarded, normal kid…I was shocked when I heard what happened,” freshman Frankie Pagliano said.

“I knew him too. He was a good kid. It’s terrible,” freshman Brandon Baldini said.

Prosecutors said Ravi tried to do the same thing to yet another classmate just days after the first incident.

The Middlesex County prosecutors office has also charged another student — Molly Wei — with invasion of privacy.  It is believed that Wei owned the computer used in the alleged spying.

Students said the information got out on Twitter.

A Twitter account belonging to a Dharun was recently deleted, but in a cached version retained through Google he sent a message on Sept. 19: “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.”

Two days later, he wrote on Twitter: “Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it’s happening again.”

“I think it’s sad someone had to die like that. It’s kind of messed up,” freshman Akash Mevalla said.

“I don’t understand why anyone would do that — you just have to be careful,” sophomore Jule Kallas said.

Both Ravi and Wei could face five years in prison after the hidden-camera sex scandal.

Comments (75)
  1. bb says:

    What is wrong with all you people – – a “child” is dead. His parents are devastaed. Yes those other two”children” need to be punished – and it’s only because we cannot punish their STUPID parents that raised STUPID HATEFUL CHILDREN. H

  2. Fiona says:

    I wept when I read this article. I hope those two vicious bullies wind up behind bars for many years so that their evil doesn’t ruin any more lives. Rotten Ravi and Malevolent Molly deserve the worst that can come their way. This is a hate crime, pure and simple. They should pay through the nose.

  3. maya says:

    At the very least, there should be a hate crime enhancement to whatever these two evil bullies are charged with. They brought about a young man’s death, the death of a promising musician whose only crime was to be his authentic self: gay. For that, he paid with his life. It’s clear he wasn’t out of the closet and that he was outed in the cruelest of ways. Rotten Ravi and Malevolent Molly should absolutely not get away with this.

  4. treddy says:

    100 dollars says Molly Wei starts going by her Chinese name now.

  5. John Phillips says:

    Social media has been a hot topic among HR professionals and employment lawyers. Here’s a post on my blog about the subject in the context of the Rutgers tragedy.

  6. JMP says:

    This is a sad case. I would defend both of these kids under the charges of manslaughter in the state of New Jersey. These kids both deserve jail time for criminally negligent homicide but manslaughter sets a loose standard in our criminal justice system. It extends the doctrine liberally to make an example of two kids. Moreover, there are major problems with causation and trying to prove that this video tape was the actually cause for him to commit suicide

  7. MissJusticeNY says:

    This is really disgusting. I am a college student myself, and I find this extremely disturbing. For one, what kind of perverts are these two pieces of garbage that they put on a webcam to watch what is going on in the room next to them? For two, did they really have to go and post a live stream online? Don’t these two have studying to do? Maybe a party to go to? Or are these two really such losers that the sit inside a dorm and watch OTHER PEOPLE LIVE THEIR LIVES? I’m glad the prosecutor is taking this seriously and i hope these two pieces of garbage do jail time. It is also refreshing to know that many of the students in rutgers are disgusted by this as well… these two will probably have to change schools (if they aren’t expelled) because it seems like they will have a hard time if they try to show their faces at rutgers again. RIP TYLER, I wish you had chose another way to deal with this.

  8. Hermione says:

    Five years? That’s all they get for snuffing out a young, promising life? Either there’s something very wrong with our laws, or there must be something else they can be charged with.

  9. Dea says:

    Whoever said “sticks & stones may hurt my bones but names may never hurt me” is ignorant of the human soul or sensitivity of the spirit. Even though Tyler made the choice under extreme emotional pain as to how to respond, it was still his choice based on the cruel and malicious intentions of those who knew him. This should be an example for everyone that you don’t have to physically touch someone to hurt or do untold damage to others when it’s just as easy to show respect and kindness. The resources provided by today’s technology is great but in the wrong “hands” it can be a lethal weapon. My sincere condolences to the Clementi family.

  10. zaney says:

    Its a hate crime, and it is murder. Appropriate punishment should be given these two sociopaths who caused the death of a young healthy man.

  11. Tea says:

    I feel so bad for his family. a lot of you are saying that he is a coward and such, however if you aren’t in his shoes, you can’t begin the imagine what he has endured. this is a very unfortunate end to a bright student. My heart goes out to him.

  12. tmohann says:

    is reason lost?………………..U r a voice reason in this whole debacle………………but I wouldn’t call the victim here selfish……………everybody has their limits of tolerance…………how long each takes it before they snap differs……..

  13. tmohannn says:

    “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.”……………that was the tweeting he sent out b4 transmitting the live sexual encounter and it clearly says “making out with a dude”

    1. MissJusticeNY says:

      I’m thinking ravi was turned on by this.. that’s why he was so excited to watch the video…

  14. is reason lost? says:

    they should be charged with the crime they committed which was nothing more than invasion of privacy. because of the result, I believe they will receive close to the maximum sentence but to say they are guilty of murder is ignorant. The facts seem pretty transparent. The kids made a bad decision to broadcast that without consent, but there are laws for that and those are the laws that should be enforced. If you’re dumb enough to believe they should be charged with murder and imprisoned for life for humiliating someone, then perhaps you could say that anyone who has humiliated this kid in the past and contributed to his self esteem issues are also accessories to the crime. Did the person who leaked paris hiltons or pam andersons sex tape get charged with premeditated murder? obviously not because they didn’t kill anybody they just exposed them without consent. Its a terrible thing to do and I’m sure most people would be extremely embarrassed and want to never show their face again but you find strength and you get through life’s obstacles. Its a sad story, but if he had any respect for himself, his friends, his family, and his bf he wouldn’t have been so selfish by taking his own life. He could have gotten on with his life had he chosen to.

  15. matt says:

    Not only did this student face the stress of being a freshman, but then to have this humiliation on top of it must have just been devastating! This death is the sole responsibility of those who spied and those who helped pass the video around. Those people should be charged with capital murder (spying is a crime and the death of another resulted from their illegal activity of spying). My heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and community.

  16. peh says:

    Can you imagine what the consequences will be if this was done to some prominent arab’s son or daughter ?

    1. tmohann says:

      What has the ethnicity of of the victim got to do with this,,,,,,,,,,,what is is wrong no matter where u come from

  17. patricia says:

    high school is now college.

    my college days we accepted each other.

    Didn’t happen in high school but did in college.

    This is scary.

  18. Erick says:

    I love the bs you people write plain garbage all the time all the freaking time on these damn comments words like vicious premeditated hateful amazing do you idiots actually think that things worse then some bs like this doesnt happen everyday to people to your own kids to families you need to wake up just because it hit the news and some articles blah blah blah worse happens everyday doesnt make this right but all they did was video tape the dude his choice was to kill himself thats great if half of the world would open their eyes they would as well.
    @pixieduster good stuff

  19. PixieDuster says:

    Tyler’s suicide was a hate crime against gay people. His low self-esteem was evidence of ho-mo-phobia, probably a result of parental abuse and indoctrination into gay-hate. Molly and Dharum were simply trying to educate the Rutgers community about perfectly normal ho-mo-sexual activities occurring on campus. They were trying to dispel the ignorance which breeds fear driven hate. Tyler was already past help – and he chose to symbolically murder all gays with his misguided act of self-hate. At any rate, Tyler should be tried in absentia for his hate-crime against all gays. His suicide was an act of cowardice, chosen over living openly as a proud, practicing ho-mo-sexual. His parents, who inculcated the hateful anti-gay philosophy in their son, as well as a disregard for Earth-friendly practices (he left an unattended computer running, rather than turn it off – which would also have deactivated that webcam) should be tried as co-conspirators, then sentenced to life in prison, where they then can participate in the very activity they taught their son to despise.

  20. falcon says:

    Hate crime? Murder? i do not think so. It was a couple of young and stupid kids making a bad decision. Im sure they had no intentions of him jumping off a bridge, and they sure didnt throw him off! This kind of stuff probably happenes a lot in college and not everyone commits suicide. Sad sad story with a lot of young people making terrible decisions.

    1. MissJusticeNY says:

      I agree that I am sure they had no intention of making him kill hisself, but what they did was done maliciously and with preomeditation. I don’t think they should be charged with his death becasue sadly, he killed himself. BUT, they do need to be charged with EVERYTHING the prosecutors can think of.

  21. WASTEOFSPERM says:


  22. Kathy says:

    I agree with Terry6206. This was a hate crime, pure and simple. Ravi and Wei were completely vicious in their actions, and targeted this kid because he was gay. Does no one remember Matthew Shepard? This is why we have hate crimes on the books.

  23. Terry6206 says:

    This is a Hate Crime and should be dealt with accordingly.

  24. Margaret says:

    Murder charges should be filed, just as in the South Hadley (MA) case of Phoebe Prince. This was bullying. This was outrageous. Five years in jail is not enough. Both deserve the severest punishment.

  25. Evan says:

    These kids should be charged with the HIGHEST level of punishment allowed for a case like this. My deepest and sincerest condolences to the parents of the victim. I can only imagine what they are going through. As far as the parents of the suspects…I pity them; for raising MORAL-LESS and lowlife kids. I hope these kids feel guilty for the rest of their lives.

  26. Jim says:

    My condolences to the family so sad. Poor guy couldn’t live with the shame awful.

  27. sadi in Bergen County says:

    A boy is dead. These two geniuses should get the maxium penalty. This obviously was premeditated. Hopeful Rutgers will immediately expell them, but who knows? What kind of parents raise children to be this cruel? I bet they are the type of people who make excuses for their children all their lives.

  28. ml says:

    “Students on campus were upset and said the incident was a tremendous violation of privacy.”

    i don’t think there is any guarantee of privacy – not in the constitution anyway. the 9th is ambiguous

  29. Terry6206 says:

    Why wasn’t bail ordered for the female no-humanity criminal? They should be barred from any educational institution for life and if there is any justice in this world, they will both go to prison. So sorry for they young man who was victimized, humiliated and possibly blackmailed — what else is a video for?

  30. Cano says:

    murder? life? yeah right – probation.
    kid took his own life, sad – but true.

  31. poet says:

    if the kid was gay…its okay…let him be…then u will see…love is needed…we all have pleaded…love is love is love is love…its all sent from up above…to hold another in that special way…we all want it to come our way…these two pricks that made the tape…murder charges they shouldnt excape…

  32. box211 says:

    This poor kid could not have done anything to deserve this. These two seem really mean spirited with no concept of the golden rule. We don’t need people like them in our midst. I hope they go to prison for as long as possible. No matter what his scene was, he was not the one trying to hurt people. They need to go away.

  33. Nicky says:

    They should be given life without parole for causing the kids death.

  34. Donny says:

    If he was with a hot woman he would no hve taken his life. He would have been a hero.

  35. Max says:

    Yankees is another moron in the peanut gallery
    Gay Straight bi etc
    it should be an individuals choice to have their sexcapades plastered on the internet
    Gay is not a crime and many gay people would love to put on a show for all to se

  36. Yankees says:

    I have to agree here if the kid was straight he would be happy about it but he sure wouldn’t jump of a bridge. I will say this these two should be charged with murder I am sure there is more to come of this like how he was being black mailed for them not to tell his parents or other student. There is a lot to be said sending young people to jail this young man and women better hope they are not preety or handsome jail is no place for you two fools..

    1. yankees says:

      Sorry that’s wouldn’t be happy about it.

    2. Tony says:

      Yankees, why would a straight kid be “happy” about having sex with a man and having it broadcast over the internet?

  37. Tee says:

    Straight, gay or in between…who in the heck cares?!?!! What a very sad story to hear today. I work with college students …because I CHOOSE to and this hurts me to my core. I hope someday people are taught empathy and concern for others at a VERY young age. Everything we do has an impact on someone else – and even though they may have laughed their way through this “prank”, I hope their laughter has ceased and tears have set it. While they have to live with this for the rest of their lives (and I hope they do find forgiveness) – he doesn’t. My heart goes out to his friend’s and family.

  38. Dan Zeis says:

    I simply cannot believe that a young and obviously intelligent man is dead and all that some of you immature morons can do is speculate if he was gay or not-wow.

  39. ttc says:

    this kid is clearly gay and the 2 criminals were trying to embarrass or ridicule him.. sad story

  40. Proud Agnostic says:

    These 2 neanderthals should should be charged with murder.DISGUSTING!

  41. valerie says:

    who said he was gay? Not that it matters in this case…

    1. Liberal Jew says:

      Come on! This Kid’s gay as the day is long!! What straight 18 year old boy would kill themselves after being taped having sex. He probably was in the closet and feared being “outed.”

      1. comments4u2 says:

        And you call yourself a Liberal Jew? What an F N moron! It makes difference what his sexual orientation was.

    2. Brian H says:

      He apparently was with another man when they were secretly recorded and broadcast. I’m just guessing that this young man was not “out” to his family and friends– and this was too devastating for him to deal with that he took his own life. This is horrible.

      1. Joan says:

        Why are so many people making the assumption that he was gay? I can think of several situations with straight men making love that could be embarrassing!!
        Think about it, all of you. Everyone is so quick to cast their opinion and gay bash…guess it makes them feel better.

  42. Margaret says:

    This is extremely vicious and sad. My heart goes out to the Clementi Family. It is hard enough for a gay young man in this world. It is also hard being a Freshman in College. I am all for the charges being upgraded to manslaughter for both Ravi & Wei. This should set an example for anyone else even thinking of doing anything like this ever again. Rutgers needs to step up to the plate on this one.

    1. Todd says:

      where did it say he was gay? How can you be charged with manslaughter when the kid jumped off a bridge, he wasn’t pushed. You don’t even know if this is the reason he killed himself.

      1. joe says:

        another idiot

      2. Tracie says:

        It is really sad that anyone would be defending these two people. You have to be really ignorant not to see that this is what pushed him to jump off the bridge. What were those 2 thinking? This is a terrible tragedy. What is this world coming too? This sickens me, I have children and my heart goes out to all the families involved. There is too much hatred in this world we all need to be more tolerate of others.

      3. Maurice says:

        I agree they shouldn’t b charged with murder. They should be charge with something.

  43. ADAM S says:

    Should be charged with murder- The reason why this young person killed himself was because of them.

    1. joe says:

      you’re an idiot

    2. craig says:

      funny how some people cant connect dots
      josh is joshing himself

    3. joe dokes says:

      You must be an obama voter.

  44. Roy says:

    This is more than tragic,if the behavior of these two idiots,were at all responcible for,or contributed to the death of this young man,they should recieve a jail term commensurate with their behavior…

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