Rutgers Student Dharun Ravi Found Guilty Of Hate Crime
Dharum Ravi, the former Rutgers student accused on spying on his gay roommate Tyler Clementi, was found guilty today on various charges. Ravi could face up to ten years in prison for invasion privacy, witness tampering, and bias intimidation.
Ravi recorded his roommate kissing another man. Ravi shared the video with friends and a few days later Clementi jumped to his death off of the Washington Bridge. Clementi became the central figure in the national discussion over cyber bullying and LGBT suicides. Ravi, 20, was not charged for Clementi’s death.
The New York Times reports that the jury found that Ravi did not intentionally intimidate Clementi the first time he recorded him on his webcam. However, the jury ruled that Clementi was targeted because he was gay and that Ravi knew that his actions would intimidate Clementi.
Prosecutor Julia L. McClure told the jury:
“These acts were purposeful, they were intentional, and they were planned. (Ravi) was bothered by Tyler Clementi’s sexual orientation.”
Steven Altman, who represented Ravi, said that his client was an immature college student who made a mistake and did not hate Clementi based on his sexuality. Altman said:
“He hasn’t lived long enough to have any experience with homosexuality or gays. He doesn’t know anything about it. He just graduated high school.”
CNN reports that Ravi, who is a native of India and was studying at Rutgers on a Visa, could be deported.