Secretly livestreamed Rutgers student believed to have jumped from bridge after roommate outs him on Twitter
In college, we called it getting “sexiled”- when your roommate asks you to get lost for a few hours or a night for some in-dorm action.
Authorities believe that a cruel prank, outing a gay student by streaming a sexual encounter to the web, lead to the eventual suicide of the 18-year-old Tyler Clementi. Clementi’s roommate Dharun Ravi, also 18, used Twitter to advertise a livestreaming video (filmed after Clementi asked to use the room alone) as he watched from the dorm room of Molly Wei, 18. (Ravi has since deleted his Twitter account, but a cached version can be found here.) The now-deleted Twitter account seems to be a main source of evidence in the case, providing a timeline of the digital spying that occurred prior to Clementi’s September 23rd suicide:
On September 19th, Ravi tweeted that “Roommate asked for the room until midnight. I went into Molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.” And on September 21, he wrote, “Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it’s happening again.”
Wei faces two counts of invasion of privacy for her role in the incident, and Ravi faces four. Wei was released on her own recognizance, and Ravi was released on $25,000 bond. A lawyer for Clementi’s family says the teen is believed to have jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge last Thursday. His body has not been recovered, but his wallet was located on the bridge and his car was nearby.