Rutgers University freshman Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei say that they did not bully Tyler Clementi. Ravi and Wei have been charged with third- and fourth- degree invasion of privacy in the death of Clementi, who committed suicide by jumping into the Hudson River.
Clementi and Ravi were roommates. Ravi and Wei are accused of filming Clementi while he was having a “sexual encounter” with another male in his dorm room and streaming the video live online. Ravi allegedly tweeted that he was using a webcam to film the incidents.
On September 22, 2010, a day after Ravi allegedly invited people on Twitter to video chat him while he was recording Clementi, the latter posted a message on his Facebook page noting that he was going to jump off the George Washington bridge.
If convicted of the invasion of privacy charges in the internet voyeurism case, Ravi and Wei could spend up to five years in prison. Prosecutors are continuing to investigate the college campus crime to determine whether to file a bias charge or charge them with committing a hate crime. Meantime, Wei’s criminal defense team has said that she is innocent of the cyber crime and that her reputation has been “unjustly tarnished” and “maligned by unfounded attacks on her character.”
On October 4, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said that there may not be sufficient evidence to upgrade the charges against Wei and Ravi to a hate crime. If the charges are upgraded to a second-degree bias crime and they are convicted, they could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
Evidence may not be enough to upgrade charges against Rutgers students Dharun Ravi, Molly Wei, NJ Real-Times News, October 4, 2010
Rutgers Students Investigated After Death of Classmate Break Their Silence, ABC News, October 6, 2010
Private Moment Made Public, Then a Fatal Jump, NY Times, September 29, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Cyber Crime, Justice.gov
Hate Crimes, FBI
A conviction could negatively impact your child’s future, so it is important that he/she is represented by a Boston criminal defense team that knows how to secure the best outcome for the case. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today.