Verdicts Returned in Rutgers Spycam Suicide Case

Jim Burroway

March 16th, 2012

Dharun Ravi, 20, the Rutgers University student who was accused of setting up a spy-cam and inviting friends to watch his roommate, Tyler Clementi, share intimate moments with another man, was found guilty today of invasion privacy, but was found not guilty on most of the charges of bias intimidation. He was also found guilty on charges of witness tampering, tampering with evidence, and hindering prosecution. He faces up to ten years in prison, and he could be deported to his native India, even though he has been a legal resident in the U.S. since he was a very young child.

Clementi commited suicide in September, 2010 by jumping off of the George Washington Bridge, following two incidents in which Ravi set up a spycam in the students’ dorm room while Clementi was alone with another man. Clementi discovered Ravi’s Tweets inviting fellow student to watch. 

The jury returned its verdicts shortly before noon EDT today after three days of deliberation in a trial that lasted nearly four weeks.

UPDATE: Sentencing has been set for May 21. He will remain free until then.


March 16th, 2012

5-10 years is too good for that worm.

Chris McCoy

March 16th, 2012

CNN is reporting that Ravi was found guilty on all counts, including bias intimidation.

Jim Burroway

March 16th, 2012

If you click on this link I provided in the post, you’ll see a complete listing of the verdicts. CNN’s report is wrong.

Jonathan S

March 16th, 2012

It’s complicated, but I think what’s going on is that the alternatives under bias intimidation are different ways of proving the same crime:

Intending to intimidate Tyler, knowingly intimidating Tyler, and Tyler reasonably being intimidated are three different ways that the prosecution could show bias intimidation. In each case, the jury found that Tyler was reasonably intimidated, even though this was not Ravi’s purpose and he did not do this knowingly. Ravi was thus guilty of all of the different incidents of bias intimidation he was accused of, and thus guilty on all counts.

It’s true though that in all cases, the jury found Ravi not guilty of bias intimidation of M.B., Tyler’s partner. I don’t know if those are separate counts and thus whether CNN missed something there.

That was a complicated explanation from a law student who could well be wrong, so take it for what it’s worth…


March 16th, 2012

It would be so much less complicated if they could just call it “criminal assholism with partial amelioration by age and permanent personality defect”.

Timothy Kincaid

March 16th, 2012

I’m glad he was found guilty of invasion of privacy. That is a principle and precedent we need legally established.

However, if I read this correctly, for the section relating to hate bias Ravi wasn’t guilty of sexual orientation based intimidation resulting from his own biases. Rather he is guilty of bias intimidation because he should have known that Clementi, being gay, would assume that he was biased.

He wasn’t guilty of bias intimidation due to any of his own attitudes about homosexuality, but he was guilty of bias intimidation because Clementi was gay and his being gay led him to believe so.

Have we actually moved beyond “hate” being a punishable offense and now are finding people guilty of letting others believe that they hate?

Well, I guess under that definition CCR has a point. If my belief about your motivations makes you guilty then Lively is guilty of murder. And Obama is guilty of being a Ruandan born Muslim.

I think I’m going to go home and bang my head against the wall for a while. And if I damage anything it’s the court’s fault for not stopping me from believing that we lost our collective minds.


March 17th, 2012

It is just my opinion but from the video and pictures I have seen on TV and the Internet, Dharum Ravi just looks like a truly cold-hearted individual.

Jay Jonson

March 17th, 2012

He was found guilty of bias intimidation against Clementi, but acquitted of bias intimidation against M.B. In total, he was found guilty of 24 of the possible 35 charges in the 15 counts. I take no pleasure that he will go to jail, but his arrogant refusal to accept responsibility for his actions has led to this result. He could have accepted a plea deal under which he would have avoided jail time in lieu of community service. He obviously thought that he would get a jury that he could convince he was merely playing a prank on Clementi. Luckily, the jury was thoughtful and followed the law.


March 17th, 2012

I guess my question would be if you don’t like somebody…whether or not they’re gay…or even if a person doesn’t like gays, then isn’t it kind of sick to want to watch them have sex??Regardless of anything else, invading someone’s private, personal life is wrong and just kind of squicky for a lot of reasons.

The whole thing just struck me as hella creepy, and the result of it as extremely sad.

I’m glad he’s going to jail, I just don’t think it’s for near long enough. I also don’t think jail will make this man who is sick in the head any less that way. I bet he’ll think he should not of done that, at least once before he gets out.

Have to agree with the criminal assholery comment though, how would that dude have felt if it was someone else watching HIM get his freak on. I bet he wouldn’t of thought that was so funny.


March 17th, 2012

I’m convinced that the only reason Ravi did what he did was because Tyler was gay. He would have NEVER invaded the privacy of a straight roommate like that. I would guess that the jury probably discussed that.

It’s still saddens me thinking of that young man jumping off of the GW Bridge. There are certain images that stay in your mind forever. For me this is one of them.

Eastside Jim

March 17th, 2012

I think we need a better legal definition of bias intimidation, like what the jury was given. Do we look at the results of an action (ie invasion of privacy) or only the intent of Ravi? I am not a lawyer, so I can’t give the definition.
From a laymen’s standpoint, intimidation is a result that Ravi was guilty of, but what courtroom evidence was presented that proved bias against Tyler but not against MB?
I, too, am glad that Ravi was found guilty and showed bias in trying to publish the video to his friends, but that is just my opinion.


March 18th, 2012

Davi aslo risks deportation, as he is a US resident & not a citizen. The rightwing fundiespere blogs are rife with talk about this case being an example of LGBTs pursuing “special rights,” Lol.

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