NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The parents of the Rutgers University student who killed himself after authorities said his intimate encounter with a man was captured by a webcam want his classmates’ invasion-of-privacy cases prosecuted, but they don’t want them to receive harsh punishment.

Tyler Clementi’s parents, Jane and Joseph Clementi, issued a statement Tuesday, six months after he jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge.

“The past six months have been the most difficult and painful of our lives,” they said. “We have done our best to deal with the grief and pain of the death of our son Tyler, in awful circumstances while dealing with the crush of media attention, the pending criminal investigations and, of course, our own unanswered questions.”

The Clementis have not granted any interviews, but have released a few statements to reporters. The latest one was sent first to The Star-Ledger of Newark.

Clementi’s roommate, Dharun Ravi, and classmate Molly Wei are each charged with two counts of invasion of privacy. Authorities said that last September, they used a webcam to watch part of Clementi’s encounter with another man. Within days, Clementi killed himself.

Family attorney Paul Mainardi said the Clementis feel it’s important to establish it was not “a college prank.”

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Gay rights and anti-bullying groups seized on the suicide and made it a symbol of the movement to take bullying, particularly of young gay people, seriously.

The charges against Ravi and Wei do not link the alleged spying to Clementi’s suicide.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office has weighed additional bias intimidation charges, but no decision on those more serious charges has been announced. Mainardi said he believes the investigation is substantially complete.

Lawyers for the students, both of whom have since withdrawn from Rutgers, have said their clients are not guilty of any crimes. The lawyers did not immediately return calls on Tuesday.

The fallout from the case has been immense. The Point, a scholarship-granting group based in Los Angeles, has announced a scholarship in Clementi’s memory.

The Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra and the Bergen Youth Orchestra, where Clementi, a violinist, had been a member, have had performances in his memory and named concertmaster chairs after him.

His parents say they are also starting a foundation that would raise public awareness of bullying, assist vulnerable young people and encourage research and awareness of the effects of electronic media.

Rutgers has decided to allow men and women to be roommates in parts of certain dorms — largely as a way to make gay, lesbian and transgender students more comfortable.

And celebrities from President Barack Obama to entertainer Ellen DeGeneres have campaigned publicly against bullying.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 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.)

Comments (12)
  1. martin r says:

    i wondered what happened to those 2 ignorant ugly evil definitely guilty of hurting this young man s pysche students throw the book at them put them in jail let them deal with others sexual needs there since their so interested in what other people do believe me it wont be a college course for them

  2. Moral Truth says:

    The victim Mr. Clementi should not have been having gay sex in his dorm as its illegal in the college.

    The suspects in this case maybe installed the camera because his roomate wasnt comfortable and thats the moral truth.

    1. joe smoothie says:

      The suspects installed the camera because they enjoyed gay sex as they are also gay .And thats the moral truth

    2. Dora Glasberg says:


  3. Harsh says:

    What is this world coming to? He killed himself end of story. Suicide is a selfish act. I have no sympathy for this guy. People are being persecuted around the world. They either fight or lay down.

    1. Harsh Reality says:

      wow….”Harsh” i cant believe what you are saying …may i quote what you wrote….”he killed him self end of the story?”<——We will all keep that in mind when you pass…jerk!!. you also said….. "Suicide is a selfish act" (it is ) but i say to you naw…. i think your comments are a selfish acts and some one needs to put you in your place…lol. ohh and one more stupid thing you said is that you have no sympathy for this guy because he commited suicide? i think that you and those 2 other idiots that secretly recorded him should have jumped off the bridge too for being a dumm a$$ and posting hurtfull comments like you have.

      1. Joe Campbell says:

        Yes exactly… it is harsh, but it is true, he killed himself. Who do you blame for that? He’s not a victim killed himself, and there is no one to blame for that but him. Take responsibility for you own actions. Maybe they took their teasing a little too far, but in the end no one pushed him, he jumped. He killed himself because he could not deal with who and what he was, and there is no one else in this world to blame for that.

  4. avlamal says:

    as someone who was basically verbally and physically crucified in the 7th grade in an affluent suburb in northern n.j. in early seventies; i still wear the scars to this day in the form of alienation and isolation basically to my immediate world; bullying thru taunting and ridicule is truly devastating; it lasts a lifetime.

    the operative lesson here is tolerance thru accepting difference.

    the definition of crime is most definitely a violation of morality; this debate goes back to the civil rights question of can u lagislate morality-yes u can; throw these criminals in jail for a year and majke a statement!

  5. edward says:

    When the stigma of one’s sexual preference has been erased, perhaps tragedies like this will no longer happen.In my opinion, this was not a prank. The spite with which the webcam was used clearly indicated the two individuals intent to shame and embarass Tyler Clementi. Although they may not have predicted his reaction, they deserve to face the legal ramifications of their behavior.

  6. bill williams says:

    One day this will disapperar, hopefully along with the religious hatred that goes with it. ravi and wei should be procecuted to the full extent of the law. Sadly this will not bring Tyler back…

  7. Harriet says:

    parents stay in balance with yourself. Praise the remembrance of your highly beloved son. Please, your sadness, let it not make you sick. Your son would not do harm to you. Your son will live forever as he has been, your beloved son. Remember his joy, please, don’t make you sick by your sadness.
    I highly appreciate your actions for the future. I wiah you succes, but above all
    your wellbeing. God bless.

  8. em says:

    People can be so cruel. When will we realize?

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