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Rutgers Spying Case - GUILTY!
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Rutgers Spying Case - GUILTY! - March 16, 2012, 12:03 PM

Daaaaaamn. They found him guilty! Enjoy your flight back to India dude.

Guilty verdict in Rutgers webcam spying case - CNN.com

(CNN) -- A former Rutgers University student accused of spying on and intimidating his gay roommate by use of a hidden webcam was found guilty on charges of invasion of privacy and bias intimidation in a case that thrust cyberbullying into the national spotlight and prompted comments from President Barack Obama.
The jury found Ravi not guilty on several questions within the verdict sheet, but because he was found guilty on at least one question of whether his actions constituted bias discrimination, he could now face the maximum penalty: Up to 10 years in jail and deportation to his native India.
Ravi, 20, also was found guilty of witness tampering, hindering apprehension and tampering of physical evidence.
His roommate, Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman, killed himself in September 2010 by jumping off the George Washington Bridge, which spans the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey, after learning that Ravi had secretly spied on his sexual encounter with another man.
Clementi's death stirred discussion about bullying, with Obama releasing a videotaped message less than a month later condemning it. A few months later, New Jersey legislators enacted stricter laws to better protect against bullying in schools.
The most serious charges in the Rutgers case centered on whether Ravi's actions had constituted bias intimidation, meaning that he was motivated to inspire fear in the Ridgewood, New Jersey, native because of his sexual orientation. Those charges carry jail time of up to 10 years and possible deportation back to his native India.
Prosecutors have said that Ravi tried to embarrass Clementi because he was gay.
"These acts were purposeful, they were intentional, and they were planned," prosecutor Julia L. McClure told the jury on the first day of the trial. Ravi "was bothered by Tyler Clementi's sexual orientation," she later said more bluntly.
Ravi's attorneys have argued that their client acted thoughtlessly, portraying him as an immature college student who made a mistake, and that his actions were not based on homophobia.
"He hasn't lived long enough to have any experience with homosexuality or gays," said attorney Steven Altman in closing arguments earlier this week. "He doesn't know anything about it. He just graduated high school."
Ravi and fellow student Molly Wei -- who admitted joining Ravi to watch the surreptitious webcam encounter, which others were also alerted to via social media -- were charged in the wake of Clementi's suicide. They were not, however, charged directly with his death.
Facing two counts of invasion of privacy, Wei reached a plea deal in May 2011 that required her to testify against her friend and former high school classmate, as well as to complete a three-year program on cyberbullying and do 300 hours of community service.
Ravi turned down a plea deal offered by Middlesex County prosecutors that would have allowed him to avoid jail time in exchange for undergoing counseling, doing 600 hours of community service and disposing of any information that could identify the man who appeared in the web video with Clementi.
Prosecutors also offered to help Ravi avoid deportation, though they said they could not guarantee it. Ravi, who had been studying on a visa at the New Jersey university, did not testify on his own behalf.
During the prosecution's phase of the trial, the man whom Clementi was intimate with, identified only as "M.B.," told jurors that he had noticed a web camera aimed directly at Clementi's bed.
The 32-year-old man testified that he first met Clementi on an Internet social networking site for gay men and that they eventually met three times in the student's dorm room. The two conversed online, exchanged text messages and later had sex, he said.
Wei testified that she watched a sexual liaison involving M.B. and Clementi after Ravi had secretly set up the webcam in his and Clementi's dormitory room.
Ravi's lawyer, Altman, has argued that his client had initially switched on the webcam to monitor his personal items because he did not trust his roommate's visitor.
In Twitter messages from that day, Ravi wrote that he'd gone into a friend's room, "turned on my webcam" and saw his roommate "making out with a dude."
On September 22, 2010, Clementi took a train to New York and posted a mobile status update on his Facebook page that read, "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry," before killing himself.
Ravi had apparently tried to make amends with his estranged roommate that same night, according to text messages revealed in court.
"I've known you were gay and I have no problem with it," Ravi wrote said in messages sent after he apparently learned his roommate had requested a dormitory room change.
It is not clear if Clementi ever viewed the messages.


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March 16, 2012, 12:14 PM

Initially when I heard this story, I was under the impression the guy did something very malicious, and made it very public. Even felt bad for the victim.

But reading the details now, it seems little more than a small college prank, reaching very few people. I can't believe they would take him to court for this. The 'victim' was clearly mentally unstable if that's all it took for him to jump off a bridge.
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March 16, 2012, 12:17 PM

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Originally Posted by Witold View Post
Initially when I heard this story, I was under the impression the guy did something very malicious, and made it very public. Even felt bad for the victim.

But reading the details now, it seems little more than a small college prank, reaching very few people. I can't believe they would take him to court for this. The 'victim' was clearly mentally unstable if that's all it took for him to jump off a bridge.
I agree. It didn't seem all THAT malicious. Not only that, but some of the reports/evidence suggested that the kid wasn't even really upset about it. I think they found an email or text or tweet or whatever that he had written to a friend that said something like, "It's not even a big deal. He just saw me kissing him".


I'm not a leg humper... but I'm super attracted to how fucking stupid she is! - wildjester

Castle: rob, potbelly, stat. i brought the bike, wanna ride 2 up??
ClemsonJeeper: omg i'm in now!
Castle: fvck, did i just put that in the sb?

Last edited by JTG40cal; March 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM..
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March 16, 2012, 12:47 PM

Next thing you know we won't even be allowed to have opinions on these cases as they will be deemed a Class 3 Misdemeanor for "Post-Death Opinionated Harassment". Should he be guilty of some things? Yes. But all misdemeanors with none or very little jail time. Not 10 years worth. It was a prank not a pre-calculated act for personal gain or purposeful harm against another. Nanny State All The Way!!! The girl fighting for birth control pills should kill herself so then we can put Rush Limbaugh in jail since he hurt her feelings publicly causing her death, plus the gender based discriminatory nature of his attacks.
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March 16, 2012, 12:49 PM

From what i know of the story, I can't pick out a single crime or even a single serious moral wrong this kid has committed. Disappointed with how the justice system handle this.


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March 16, 2012, 01:07 PM

it wasn't extremely malicious but after a few people know, everyone will know he's gay.

I'm glad the prick is going to jail


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March 16, 2012, 03:41 PM

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it wasn't extremely malicious but after a few people know, everyone will know he's gay.

I'm glad the prick is going to jail
but y u mad tho


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March 17, 2012, 10:40 AM

IDK one one hand I wonder how many times this happens without the suicide and no one gets taken to court. The person filmed is just as hurt but wasn't suicidal so no crime? Or was it bad luck for Ravi he outed someone on the edge. I guess to be fair NJ needs to prosecute all cases like this to the fullest extent of the law. I don't think that will happen so this is malicious prosecution?
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March 17, 2012, 11:36 AM

Invasion of privacy - yeah, he should be prosecuted and do time. If this were some woman with a guy placing a camera in her place (which has happened) then they would prosecute the crap out of him. 10 years? no. But several, probably.


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March 17, 2012, 01:08 PM

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Originally Posted by captain_gsxr View Post
IDK one one hand I wonder how many times this happens without the suicide and no one gets taken to court.
Considering that in the USA suicides out number homicides by at least 2 to 1, cops will have a lot of investigating to do. I'm sure there's some external semi-reason for most suicides.
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March 17, 2012, 01:17 PM

He should have taken the plead deal. They were going to make an example of him and he fell right into it...


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March 17, 2012, 06:37 PM

I don't know what made him think he could win the case. Too many things going against him.
The victim is in a protected class and committed suicide as a result of his actions.
His friend, the Asian girl, flipped on him and turned State's evidence.



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March 17, 2012, 08:52 PM

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I don't know what made him think he could win the case. Too many things going against him.
The victim is in a protected class and committed suicide as a result of his actions.
His friend, the Asian girl, flipped on him and turned State's evidence.
I can't see how he could possibly be convicted.

Then again, the link doesn't actually list the charges, what he was convicted on, or what the jury had to decide. (WTF?)

It seems like the dude was mentally unstable. Maybe this guy's actions were the trigger, but it looks like the dude was gonna blow any time.
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March 17, 2012, 08:54 PM

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Originally Posted by Witold

I can't see how he could possibly be convicted.

Then again, the link doesn't actually list the charges, what he was convicted on, or what the jury had to decide. (WTF?)

It seems like the dude was mentally unstable. Maybe this guy's actions were the trigger, but it looks like the dude was gonna blow any time.
They got him on charges such a spying and witness tampering.


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Castle: rob, potbelly, stat. i brought the bike, wanna ride 2 up??
ClemsonJeeper: omg i'm in now!
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March 17, 2012, 09:48 PM

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They got him on charges such a spying and witness tampering.
OK, I'd say that was fair. They're not saying he pushed the dude to commit suicide - they didn't convict him of 3rd degree or anything. But he definitely invaded privacy/spied... and then witness tampering is obviously after-the-fact... he failed at trying to CYA.


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