Indian-origin student indicted in roommate's suicide case

Indian-origin student indicted in roommate's suicide case

A New Jersey grand jury handed out a 15-count indictment against Dharun Ravi, 18, charging him with invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution.

If convicted of the most serious bias charge, Ravi could face five to 10 years in prison.
According to the indictment, Ravi committed the "offense of invasion of privacy, with the purpose to intimidate" his roommate, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi "because of sexual orientation."

The indictment further adds that Ravi later tried to destroy evidence by deleting his Twitter post in which he had mentioned about Clementi's sexual encounter and had instead made up a false Twitter post to mislead the investigating officers.

The indictment also charges Ravi with giving false information to investigating officers, deleting text messages sent and received by witnesses and concealing information to "hinder" his prosecution in the case.

Last September, Ravi and another Rutgers student Molly Wei had filmed Clementi's sexual encounter by surreptitiously placing a camera in their Rutgers dorm room.

Ravi had then posted the video online and sent a message on Twitter saying, "Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly's room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay."

A talented violinist, Clementi had committed suicide a few days later by jumping off New York's George Washington Bridge. His body was found in the Hudson River. Clementi's wallet and cell phone were found on the bridge.

In a status update on September 22 on his Facebook page, Clementi had said: "jumping off the gw bridge sorry." In a statement, Clementi's parents Jane and Joe Clementi said the indictment "spells out cold and calculated acts against our son Tyler by his former college roommate."

"If these facts are true, as they appear to be, then it is important for our criminal justice system to establish clear accountability under law. We are eager to have the process moved forward for justice in this case." The indictment said charges against Wei would not be presented to the grand jury "at this time."

Ravi and Wei had been previously charged with two counts each of invasion of privacy.
Two more counts of invasion of privacy were leveled against Ravi for a second attempt to videotape another encounter involving Clementi. Both Wei and Ravi had surrendered to campus police and had withdrawn from Rutgers.