NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — One of the two former Rutgers students accused of using a webcam to spy on another student’s gay sexual encounter made her first-ever court appearance Friday.

19-year-old Molly Wei has been admitted into a pre-trial intervention program. The move may allow Wei to potentially avoid jail time and a criminal record.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports: Tyler Clementi’s Parents Speak Out Publicly

The agreement requires Wei to cooperate with prosecutors and complete 300 hours of community service. She’ll also be required to get a job.

Joe Clementi, foreground, and his wife, Jane, walk outside of the Middlesex County Courthouse, where Molly Wei had a hearing in the webcam-spying case involving the suicide of their son Tyler Clementi, Friday, May 6, 2011 in New Brunswick, N.J. (credit: Julio Cortez/AP)

The former freshman withdrew from Rutgers.

“We’re here to witness this criminal proceeding on Tyler’s behalf, on our behalf, and on behalf of many people throughout the country who are following this case,” Tyler’s father, Joe Clementi said.

It’s was the first time the Clementi family spoke about their tragedy. Clementi’s father said he was okay with Wei’s deal but hopes she learns from her mistake.

“Actions have consequences. We wish that Miss Wei becomes a person who will make better decisions, help people and show kindness to people she comes in contact with,” he said. “We are committed to do what we can to enforce the calls for compassion, and respect for human dignity, that have been made in response to Tyler’s experience.”

If she stays out of trouble for the next three years, Wei, accused of just watching Clementi’s encounter, will have charges dropped, and avoid jail time.

“Molly Wei was unfortunately brought into this. Whether there’s some good that comes out of this for the country in terms of bullying, anti-homophobia, that’s fine. But Molly Wei should not be the poster child for this,” said Erik Khan, Wei’s attorney.

On the Rutgers University campus, students had mixed reactions.

“I would say it’s a fair punishment,” Dory Kalimi said.

“The guy committed suicide,” Dominick Nero said. “I think she should serve some time.”

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond: It’s The First Time Clementi’s Parents Have Spoke Out

Tyler Clementi’s suicide last September shocked the Rutgers New Brunswick campus and intensified the national conversation about bullying against gays and lesbians.

Wei was not indicted, but her friend and classmate Dharun Ravi was. She plans to testify against Ravi.

“We’d like to begin the process of gaining Ms. Wei’s reputation back and so far it’s been tarnished,” her attorney Rubin Sinins said.

Tyler Clementi (credit: Facebook)

Wei, who wore a black business suit to court, answered only simple questions from her lawyer in a court hearing that was over in about 10 minutes. She did not speak to reporters afterward.

“Molly Wei should not be a poster child for this,” one of her lawyers, Eric Kahn, said after her court appearance.

“We understand that Miss Wei’s actions, though unlawful, were substantially different in their nature and their extent than the actions of Tyler’s former roommate,” Joe Clementi said.

Ravi faces 15 criminal counts, including bias intimidation – the most serious charge – for allegedly using his laptop to remotely turn on the webcam in the room he shared with Clementi. Prosecutors said he also tried to persuade friends not to testify against him.

He’s scheduled to be in court on May 23.

Investigators said Ravi was in Wei’s room as they watched Clementi’s same-sex encounter.

Days later, Clementi, who’s from Ridgewood in Bergen County, jumped off the George Washington Bridge.

What do you think of the deal? Leave a comment below…

(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 (62)
  1. A Misunderstanding says:

    I read that Ravi left his computer on and outside for a few minutes and when he returned to his dorm room Tyler had locked the door so Ravi went to another classmate’s room to check the computer and that’s when he noticed Tyler was having an intimate encounter. This all sounds like a misunderstanding to me.

  2. Straight and Narrow says:

    He decided to jumped off a bridge. No one pushed him. It was his choice! The guy was mentally unstable(suicidal), lived life on the edge and engaged in risky behavior. He was probably high on drugs when he jumped off that bridge. He was no angel. Now he ruined 2 young innocent lives. Did his parents even know he was gay?

    1. zeliasgrand says:

      How on earth do you come to the conclusion that this is Clementi’s fault? Ravi and Wei are not charged with murdering Clementi, they are charged with invading his privacy. You are arriving at conclusions with no evidence. Clementi was no angel, but neither were either of these two. They stuck their noses into someone else’s private life and now are paying the price.

  3. Artie says:

    Tyler was a musician – therefore his profession would require him to
    be in the public eye, as a member of an orchestra. However if a person
    has a background that is connected to a drama such as Ravi FORCED
    onto him – his career was effectively OVER and DONE even before it

    It was not a gay issue whatsoever. Instead it was Ravi who set up a
    sick situation. The sick drama Ravi created enmeshed Tyler in a story
    that would likely never go away. As a college roommate, he betrayed
    all sense of human trust, and compassion. Ravi = sociopath

  4. lulu says:

    i think that the women should have gotten no charges what the man did was DISCUSTING!! GOD HELP HIM

    1. rpm2085 says:

      she was down with it too, Okay.I Know it’s all the mans fault right?

  5. Moh says:

    Let this be a lesson to “Indo-Americans” make a horrible mistake and you are dealt with the most severe punishment … Compared to. Chinese-Americans who are promptly giving a chance by the very same Court System in New Jersey. But who gives a hoot..

    1. Bob Fowler says:

      Are you a moron or a troll? Ravi set up the computer/webcam, and broadcast. Without Ravi, there was no crime. Did anyone help him set this up? If so, apparently the news missed it. What does this have to do with race?

      You should do the world a favor and give your computer away.

  6. Judgement Day says:

    Question: Is Tyler up in heaven now or in the other place? I am not one to make the judgement.

    1. attr: Jesus Christ says:

      “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew, 7:5

  7. Taquan says:

    White man jumps off bridge and 2 non-whites are made the scapegoats….if it was the other way around this would not even make the news.

  8. Johnny K says:

    I’m glad that she is able to avoid any criminal sanctions. I have not heard anything that suggests that she affirmatively did anything harmful against Tyler. She has already suffered too much.

    As a gay man, life has been tough to me. However, it also has shown me the value of mercy and compassion. If any one of us thinks back to college, we could have easily been in her position. It was not foreseeable that Tyler would have committed suicide (everything is much clearer with hindsight).

    1. Billy says:

      Well said. I don’t think the kid who setup the webcam should be facing 10 years though either. While what he did was very wrong, criminal sanctions for a privacy violation is a bit much. What the man did, kill himself, is his own responsibility and I certainly don’t think it merits another party going to jail for 10 years because he was probably PART of the motivation to commit the suicide. Furthermore, why spend a million dollars of tax-payers’ money on this crusade? It is very wrong what the spying roommate did, but it’s not really the place for the criminal courts to be experimenting. There is probably a District Attorney up for reelection who wants to get their name in the paper.

    2. zeliasgrand says:

      Wei could have brought the whole situation to a halt if she had simply told Ravi “NO.” Her failure to act makes her culpable in this situation.

  9. rob says:

    Her crime was watching it in disgust. She knew both of them, he came to her room using her laptop to show her what’s going on and she didn’t know it’s a crime to be witnessing it. This girl got a raw deal. Her initial reaction was shock and disgust, but her silence got her in trouble after watching the video. This guy ruined two lives along with their relatives as well. I hope Molly learned from this mistake and move on. We are with you Molly.

    1. Billy says:

      Agreed. Again, I think there is probably a Prosecutor up for reelection or trying to get their name in the paper for some other reason, but this case is definitely blown WAY out of proportion.

  10. Dale Auburn says:

    She might as well throw out that business suit. As long as she was required to drop out of school and get a job (presumably a go-nowhere McJob), she won’t have any more use for it.

  11. martin r says:

    this is BS she should get much more to deal with such as a trial and jail time she was there it was her room she watched she was involved community service BS put her in a womans jail and let her see gay and lesbian life there and see how she deals with that believe me she should be hurt hit and punished big time chinese murderess

  12. JFT says:

    The Clementi’s are very kind. Molly is disgusting. Is this all she had to do in college?? Though she might not go to jail she will have to live with this the rest of her life. It would be nice if one day she actually started to care about someone other than herself.

  13. CR says:

    I think Ravi was the far more culpable of the two. He acted with deliberate, well planned malice. It appears that Wei was not a co-conspirator beforehand, although she was wrong to watch. Hopefully her testimony against Ravi will result in his conviction on felony charges and he’ll carry a permanent criminal record. His intentions were evil and he was wrong to involve anyone else in his despicable acts.

  14. CantGetaName says:

    Is anyone out there following this. The kid was on video involuntarily and then it was aired on the NET. Remember the ESPN or CNN female reporter who was being filmed in her hotel room- by herself no less. I think the guy got some type of punishment. Fortunately she didn’t jump off a ledge. In this case it drove the kid to that and RAVI should get the max. Let him spend time in the big house with guys who may want to do him……..

    1. CR says:

      Agreed. This is far more a human issue than just a gay issue. It’s about basic human decency and compassion versus the lack of it. That was wrong to do to any person for any reason.

      1. Judgement Day says:

        Question: Is Tyler up in heaven now or in the other place? I am not one to make the judgement.

  15. Janet Moskowitz says:

    I lived in a dorm, If he had serious problems he should of gone to the dean of housing. This a prank that went so wrong. They knew what they were doing. T

  16. jagdish says:

    If my lover killed himself because he was ashamed to be “caught” with me I start asking some serious questions about myself. That poor loathesome slob. How do you continue to mingle after something like that?

    1. pf02 says:

      This comment is totally inappropriate. He did not kill himself because of the person he was with, it is not that man’s fault. He killed himself because he was being bullied about his sexual orientation. It happens all the time to many gay and lesbian teens and young adults, and it leads to suicide because they don’t see any other way out. Regardless of whether or not you agree with their lifestyle, you should never make a person feel like their life is not worth living anymore.

  17. jme says:

    hope she spends the rest of her life living on the streets. she deserves nothing better – jail would have been great.

  18. None Of YOur Business says:

    Toss her off the George Washington Bridge along with Curly Hair (what would that guy do if Toni Home Permanent had never been invented??)

  19. Hee haw says:

    Dang, he got his nose from his mama. In college, I watched ny roommate get oral from a girl. There was about 5 if us watching. One dude jumped out of the closet naked saying hey is it my turn yet? Hey we were very immature back then. The girl was first embarrassed bug later joked about it. She didn’t committ suicide. Life goes on. Since he jumped off the bridge on his own, there had to been other issues he had. I don’t think those two are completely innocent but jail time is ridiculous.

    1. Duh says:

      yes, this. It’s appalling that they are putting all the responsibility for this guys suicide on those two kids. All they deserve is a slap on the wrist.

  20. Joseph Didonato says:

    Its sad they are getting away with this. I am sure all the people who want to see them freed would not want them living next to them or around their children!!!
    Both of the them are guilty of murder, and neither have remorse.

  21. Bell Toller says:

    Her and Mr. Ravi should not have been charged. They did not tell the defendant to killm himself.

    They were charged becuase of their race

    1. Taquan says:

      White man jumps off bridge and 2 non-whites are made the scapegoats….if it was the other way around this would not even make the news.

    2. pf02 says:

      This has nothing to do with race. If all three of them were white, they would and should still be charged. They did not tell him to kill himself or physically push him off that bridge, but their actions were definitely a contributing factor as to why he jumped. They are not innocent and they should have consequences for their actions.

  22. Micha says:

    I understand the prosecutor not wanting her to go to prison, but “no criminal record?” Are you serious?! It’s ridiculous and I am really surprised Tyler’s parents are OK with this. She should have to answer for her crime, end of story.

    1. JoeJo says:

      I agree completely with you Micha. Bit player or not, Wei had the choice to say no to Ravi when he asked to use her computer to spy on Clementi. That could have changed everything. Her not only letting him do this but also staying to watch with Ravi should be enough to warrant a mark on her permanent record. She’s not that innocent.

      1. pf02 says:

        I don’t necessarily disagree with what you are saying, but I think that you should try and think of it this way: She may not have a criminal record, but this will follow her wherever she goes. When she applies for a job or to go to a new school future employers and admissions offices have the right to “google” her name and read any publicly available information. Think about how many articles there are about this case out in the world. I think Tyler’s parents are showing her a respect that she clearly did not show Tyler, which speaks to their character. Simply put: They are better people than she is.

  23. Jules says:

    What happened to plain old respect? These children (yes children because their actions were competely immature) should have been taught by their parents to be respectful. My parents always considered how their actions could affect other people and made sure that my brother and I understood this. True, that you won’t have that much privacy when you are sharing a dorm room or for that matter, even living in a dorm, but just because there’s a webcam in a room – really… would you really just naturally and automatically expect that you’re going to be recorded and posted on the internet without your permission? If that was the case, then why would there be any questions or controversy around this case. These children knew on one level or another that this was wrong and hurtful otherwise why didn’t they just let Tyler Clementi know that this was going happen. Forget about gender, sexual orientation, color or age, you shouldn’t do this to any person without their consent.

    1. asd says:

      Yeah, really, todays young adults dont know the meaning of respect. Who ever turned the camera on, and or set it up should be punished. If he was that uncomfortable with his roomates sexuality he should have demanded another room. Tyler as well. These are tomorrows leaders. Can you belive it??

    2. Marge Gunderson says:

      Plain old respect requires one first to have self-respect. These sorry little POS obviously lack that or they would never have dropped down to that level.

  24. Anthony says:

    You are still a schmuck,. I can now understand why lawyers are ranked lower than insuance sales people and child molesters.The only deal this dumb bunny should have gotten was a toss off the bridge.

  25. jtorres says:

    Her punishmant was appropriate. Ravi should face more serious charges. She’s not completely innocent but she wasn’t the one who turned the webcam on knowing what was going to happen. Ravi did. Her big mistake was being immature and watching instead of turning the computer off. That kind of behavior only succeeds if it has an audience. Had she told Ravi off for being such a slilme and spying on his roommate, that would have probably been the end of it. That makes her stupid, not criminal.

  26. MIKE says:



    1. Marge Gunderson says:

      After you calm down and stop screeching at the top of your lungs like a 2-year-old with a soiled diaper, please look up the definition of the word “amazing.”

      It does not mean disagreement; it does not mean mild surprise; it does not mean “oh, no, not again!”

      Maybe if you look up words before using them, and stick to using the ones you do comprehend, you won’t be so frustrated and impotent that you’re reduced to a screaming fit because you can’t get your point across to the grownups.

      Maybe in a few years you’ll even be educated enough to appreciate the irony of someone using the phrase “You people” when sniveling and whining about racism.

  27. Mr. Ned. says:


  28. Richard T. says:


  29. Innocent Until Proven Guilty says:

    He jumped off a bridge. No one pushed him. It was his choice!

  30. The Other Man says:

    Why is the other man that he had intimate encounters with silent? Is he hiding somewhere?

    1. Boo!! says:

      “the older man”
      why are you asking about him? what does he have to do with anything….so what if he is hidding hes probably trying to get away from idiots like you…wow that makes 2 idiots in here so far….

    2. Big Nard says:

      Yea, look in closet. He is hiding with the corpse of his bed mate.

  31. Just Curious says:

    Is it a sin to be Gay?

      1. Richard T. says:


  32. Rutgers Law Student says:

    They were sharing a dorm room. One cannot expect total privacy in a shared dormitory. He should have rented a hotel room. Ravi had a right to put a webcam on his owe computer in his dorm room. Tyler knew there was a webcam on Ravi’s computer. The webcam was out in the open. Not like it was hidden.

    1. liwingnut says:

      Is being a schmuck a requirement for admittance to law school ?

    2. kck says:

      There’s a webcam on practically every computer now. It doesn’t mean you no longer have a right to a reasonable expectation of privacy. It doesn’t mean malicious acts can go unpunished. “He should have known better” is not a defense. We can all look back at moments in our lives where we should have known better. It doesn’t mean we should have had those moments broadcast on the internet. Stay in law school though. You need to learn a little more about the law because lord knows there’s nothing to be done to teach you about compassion.

    3. Tommy says:

      You are an a-hole Rutgers Law Student

    4. Boo!! says:

      what an ignoranus…..

      1. MIcha says:

        wow, so because ravi had a web cam and tyler knew about it, that makes it OK? Hey Rutgers Law Student (future defense atty. I’m sure), what about if your roomate had a camera and taped YOU having sex? Would it still be OK? Also, let’s keep in mind that if Tyler had been straight and that had been a female in the room, ravi most likely wouldn’t have streamed the video. This was done with malicious intent and they both need to answer for that.

    5. Lemme guess, your first name is Richard? says:

      Spoken like a true ‘future criminal defense lawyer’.

    6. Straight and Narrow says:

      You’ll make a great lawyer when you graduate…
      He jumped off a bridge. No one pushed him. It was his choice! The guy was mentally unstable(suicidal) and probably high on drugs. He was no angel. Now he ruined 2 young innocent lives.

      1. pf02 says:

        First of all, you are making a lot of assumptions with no real evidence. You don’t know about his mental state or whether he used drugs. Second of all, they may not have physically pushed him off that bridge, but their actions had a direct impact on his decision to take his own life. I’m not sure what you mean by saying “He was no angel” (since no person is), but they are not completely innocent and they ruined their own lives and Clementi’s as well.

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