DOCUMENT: College, Internet, Revolting

Rutgers Suspect Tweeted On Taping Scheme

Student wrote of watching roommate on webcam

Rutgers University

View Document

Dharun Ravi Twitter

SEPTEMBER 29--One of the Rutgers University students charged with illegally filming a fellow student having sex (and then transmitting it live on the Internet) last week posted a Twitter message indicating that he used a webcam to watch his roommate “making out with a dude.”

The roommate, Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old Rutgers freshman, is believed to have jumped to his death last week off the George Washington Bridge.

In a September 19 post, Dharun Ravi, 18, reported that, “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.”

Ravi’s Twitter page has since been deleted, but, as seen here, a cached version of a portion of the account remains online. Click here to read a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office detailing its probe of the illegal taping.

Ravi and Molly Wei, 18, have both been charged with invasion of privacy for allegedly using a camera to capture two sexual encounters in a Rutgers dorm room, liaisons that were apparently broadcast live via iChat. They allegedly used the webcam to "view and transmit" live images of Clementi, who is referred to by investigators as an "18-year-old student in Piscataway," the location of Rutgers's main campus. Ravi and Wei are pictured above.

In Ravi’s final post, apparently made some time last week, he told his 148 Twitter followers, “Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it’s happening again.”

Clementi, a 2010 graduate of Ridgewood High School in New Jersey, played the violin and listed a lyric from the song "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" on his Facebook page: "what do you get when you kiss a guy? You get enough germs to catch pneumonia..." Clementi is pictured at left. (3 pages)

Comments (101)

Who is the judge of what is right and wrong? The USA is a post Christian nation. If these two thought it was OK to film someone, who is to say that is wrong? Doesn't anyone see the irony here? The gay kid was doing something that would have gotten him arrested 10 years ago for Sodomy. There is no longer any right or wrong in America. Everyone does what he or she feels is right in their own sight. Godless liberals gave us this freedom-now enjoy it.
It's not a matter of religion to everyone-- it's a matter of HEALTH. When you support gays and their behavior, you are supporting untimely dealths of these people. Disease, suicide and drugs are the 3 causes of gays dying at the average age of 50 years. Even smokers live longer than that. Src: [and many gay websites will say the same thing.. it's a well known fact in their community... hence why there isn't communities of old gay people].
You are a frickin moron. I cannot believe that this stupidity is actually lasting. Gays are not harborers of diseases, and I could make a list of 100+ people that are gay and live over the age of 50. Give me a break, and go back under your rock. Quit spreading lies about people. 100 years ago you could sell a woman or a man like a dog, I'm glad that Christianity has evolved to accept the real meaning which is - LOVE IN JESUS. pure and simple. FOR EVERYONE.
I am sure many of those posting about the wrongness of Dharun and Molly's open camera feed use cell phones in public, sometimes in grocery check-out lines. Many people live in areas that are under video surveillance 24/7/365. Reality shows are very popular. All of the above have helped to establish a blurred boundary between the private and public spheres. Expectations of privacy are rooted in a past time that no longer exists. Surely Tyler must have known that the computer in the room was drawing power. In the interest of the planet, he should have turned it off, which would also have deactivated the web-cam. Tyler preferred death to living openly as a proud homosexual. Apparently, he was homophobic. His dismissive attitude about the Earth's resources and his homophobia resulted in his death - not Dharum and Molly's effort to educate the Rutger's community about normal homosexual activity. Tyler's actions are representative of the wasteful energy practices and homophobia which holds our society back. His act of suicide was an act of murder against all gays, and he should be tried in absentia. His parents should be tried as co-conspirators, as they instilled the anti-Earth and anti-Gay attitudes in Tyler. They should be sentenced to life in prison, just in case they try to breed more enemies of the Earth and gay people.
"Expectations of privacy are rooted in a past time that no longer exists. . . This is one of the stupidest statements made on this board to date, and the competition is fierce. In fact, the entire post should get an award for pure ignorance. Comparing the privacy of his room to a "supermarket check-out line? Absolutely brilliant analogy. "Tyler's actions are representative of the wasteful energy practices and homophobia which holds our society back." . . My apologies. The more I read, the better it gets.
To me, the bottom line is: IF YOU THINK IT MAY HURT SOMEONE ELSE, DON'T DO IT! That goes for ANYTHING. I "feel sorry" for the younger generation of today...God only knows, as me, how much of life has been taken from them with their cell phones, computers and instant fixes. Our future generation...damn technology. Society was so much better 30 yrs. ago when I was this boys age. May God keep him in His loving care...
The only thing disturbing about the story is that 2 teen boys were having gay sex. Now that is what is really revolting about the story. The web cam was meant as a prank albeit a cruel one. Typical college stuff. The suicide was sad but he obviously was unstable. The suicide rate among homosexuals is at least 4x that of normal people.
So basically you are saying it is ok to break the law as long as you are in college. Because that way it is just a college prank. Give me another break! Who cares if this kid was gay or not ..if it was with a female do you think anyone would even bother to film it? no...the reason why homosexuals commit suicide is because they do not have people of GOD who counsel them and listen to their hearts. It is because they are persecuted by their peers and made to feel unaccepted. We should celebrate our differences and realize that it takes all kinds to make a world. We should tolerate those who have different lifestyles. Leave the judgements to God, if there are any, because he knows everyone's heart- gay or not. PS-- GAY people are NORMAL people too. Because you are gay does not mean that you are abnormal. Give me a break! And you wonder why they become depressed, it is because of ignorant people like you. Each person has a soul..each person is unique and should be treated with respect and dignity.
I suspect you'd have a different attitude if it was the campus police using hidden cameras in student rooms to see if they were doing drugs or drinking underage. Fortunately, the law protects us from illegal surveillance by government and nosy citizens. If it was the campus police doing this, the ACLU would be all over it, the cops would be fired, prosecuted, and sued. These idiots deserve the same treatment.
Even though these two roommates shared a room, the deceased kid still had a reasonable expectation of privacy when his roommate left the room. Contrary to what some idiot said here earlier, that standard doesn't just apply to the government spying on citizens. Citizens also can't spy on citizens. Here is the relevant Federal Statute: Because of their illegal spying, these idiots could face up to 5 years in Federal Prison for each instance of illegally recording conversations they were not a part of!
Condolences to the guys family is Number One. I read comments here about censoring the Internet, or about the boy being gay..Put away yo ur agendas people. This was an accidental crime. The 2 people involved show no intent to expose victims sexuality, or to cause him to kill himself. Stop trying to use every disaster as a stepping stone to push agendas, in this case, on this poor dead boys back. The 2 morons should serve time in jail, for a careless criminal act. The max may be 5 years, give them as much of that as possible sending a strong message for other teen/young m orons that have gotten away with this all too often.
I'm willing to agree that they didn't intend for him to kill himself. But they did willfully commit a criminal act, possibly a few times, and that criminal act led to his suicide. I'm not familiar enough with NJ law to say whether a manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter charge would be appropriate. What I do know is they can definitely go to Federal prison for up to 5 years per instance of illegal recording and be sued in civil court for the illegal recordings and sued for wrongful death. A high dollar lawyer might be able to beat the wrongful death lawsuit, but they aren't going to beat the illegal wiretapping. Actions have consequences. These idiots violated this kid's rights and it led to his death.
Filming this poor soul was bad. But the fact that they found it easy to post to the Internet is also disturbing. The Internet including websites and web hosting companies have no standard practices that would prohibit garbage like this from being posted at all. Every day, the Internet is used for malicious intent and the websites and web hosting companies take no responsibility. There are standards and practicies with television, radio, and print media. There is no such self-regulation within the Internet management community of companies. Without self-regulation the government needs to step in and assign their own regulations that would prevent such an incident from happening again.
You're right as these net hosting companies fly free on all this, and the 'free speech' argument only goes so far. Just like allowing terrorists to plan murders online without compunction is all over the net and they claim 'can't do nothin about it'..BS>
I'm hetero and I think these two mutts are scum. This is the kind in our colleges today getting likely free rides on our dime crying "minority victim privilege". They shouldn't be amongst real students again and after this should be expelled from Slutgers. I've seen people expelled for drinking and doing drugs, so this far exceeds that. Everyone knows these cases are prevalent today, especially kids, many of whom are cruel to begin with, which makes it a deliberate act of humiliation, So lets see how they like being humiliated over it. Frankly they belong in a cell for a spell with that pig who joined Myspace for the sole purpose of humiliating her daughter's supposed Best friend, the young and known to be sensitive Megan Meir into HER suicide... ....that cow skated on that one, so will probably these psycho's sadly.
I don't see what the problem here is. Sexual diversity should be celebrated and encourage in college. The purpose of higher learning is not only to educate but to broaden one's horizon, to challenge their past assumptions and to make sure they appreciate and understand diversity. What better way to do this than to have someone who considers himself or herself to be "straight" to live with a person of diversity such a gay person? Much has been made about racial quotas which I do support and they do not go far enough. But we need to start talking about sexual and diversity quotas as well. They best way to combat bigotry and narrow-mindedness to make people deal with their prejudices. If someone enters college never having known a gay or transgender person or never having any kind of relationship with one and leaves college that way then the college has failed. That's how we end up with people who think Sarah Palin is a political leader. That's how Bush got into the White House and that's how we got guns, bombs and wars. Should we not do what we can to create a better world?
I don't get it. I thought it's something to celebrate, being gay. Why would you kill yourself? It's a blessed event and everyone should cry "Mazeltov!". I mean, if someone tapes heteros having sex no one goes screaming crazy about invasion of privacy and how terrible they feel for the girl. No one cares and they call her a whore. The douchebag that taped them is a douchebag. He goes up on wiretap - or someone comes up with footage of him getting himself off watching the webcam footage of the two guys and posts that. So obvious he was into it.
Hahah... I love the dripping sarcasm :-)
According to accounts so far, it was the dude at the helm of this dummassery. He's very immature and indirectly caused the death of another person. He sure as hell deserves more than a wrist slap for a charge that pales in comparision to the end result of his ignorant actions. He should get a manslaughter conviction of one degree or another and a pretty long probation period. I would agree that a long jail sentence would be harsh, but some jail for sure. And if she was involved, she needs to go done too. My problem with this is that's she's kinda cute and the guy wants to watch two dudes doing it?
Hey Edward... come on! You sound like you want want to be a laiwyer when you grow up. These guys were college roomates. One guy secretly video's his roomate when he knew he was having sex. I don't care how you look at it, it's just plain wrong. Where's the common sense here? Whether it be boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, him/her, or college roomate, it's WRONG and shows a total disregard for someone else's dignity. It's people like this that makes me fear for future generations....
I am sure many of those posting about the wrongness of Dharun and Molly's open camera feed use cell phones in public, sometimes in grocery check-out lines. They have helped to establish the blurred boundary between the private and public spheres. Surely Tyler must have known that the computer in the room was on. In the interest of the planet, he should have turned it off, thereby deactivating the web-cam. Apparently, Tyler's parents taught him to despise homo- sexuality as well as an indifference to Green issues. His dismissive attitude about the planet and his homophobia contributed to his death - not Dharum and Molly's effort to educate the Rutger's community about normal homosexual activity. They are to be commended for their brave attempt to banish ignorance and the attendant fear which keeps society from treating gays on an equal basis. Tyler's actions are representative of the wasteful energy practices and homophobia which holds our society back. His act of suicide was an act of murder against all gays, and he should be tried in absentia. His body should be plasticized and put on display in one those exhibits featuring Chinese criminals. His parents should be tried as co-conspirators, as they instilled the anti-Earth and anti-Gay attitudes in Tyler, which resulted in his crimes against the Planet and homosexuals. They should be sentenced to life in prison, just in case they try to breed more enemies of the Earth and gay people. In prison, they can then become acquainted with the practices which they taught their son to despise.
I can't decide if this is parody or simply the confused thought process of a typical Rutgers student. [irrelevant and inapposite analogy + save the planet(!) + baseless accusation of racism or homophobia = blame the victim's parents]
what the heck are you smoking? you can't blame the person who's privacy was invaded for having his privacy invaded! on the other hand, the two morons can only be charged with invading privacy or whatever charges can result from that.
Pixiedust- Get off your high horse. Regardless of orientation, most people would be devastated if they were taped having a sexual encounter without their consent and having it broadcast over the internet. Police are SPECULATING that his orientation may have been the cause. Unless he left a note stating why, we will never know. And there is no "apparently his parents.....". You have no idea what his parents thoughts are regarding homosexuality. Maybe they approved, maybe they didn't. It could just as easily been his friends or peers that disapproved. So before you crucify his parents, you should know the facts. Let's put your ugly ass on the internet and see how you feel after you receive all the nice comments.
Some of us are really glad we're old. Looking at the younger generation, reading stories like the above, seeing the immorality and complete lack of human decency, or even just kindness, that has been inculcated by the schools and the social planners, we are not at all sure we want to live in the world that will eventually be created by these young people. No, actually we're sure -- thank God we'll be out of here by the time they take over.
Nice try, 'The_Sage', but the phrase 'reasonable expectation of privacy' is a constitutional standard that courts apply to governmental actions that invade citizens' privacy. It has absolutely no relevance to this story, which is all about the actions of private individuals, not of governments or their agents.
Oh, by the way, don't just take my word for it. Check out this site and pay special attention to the last paragraph under section 2! Basically, it says I am 100% correct. ANYONE, not just the government, can be charged criminally and sued in civil court for an illegal wiretap.
Easier there, Jr.. You're arguing about stuff you obviously know nothing about. Ever heard of a woman named Linda Tripp? She got into trouble in her home state of Maryland for an illegal wiretap. Who did she wiretap? Monica Lewinsky. Remember that phone call between Linda and Monica that Linda taped to prove Monica was messing around with Bill? That was an illegal wiretap in Maryland because Maryland is a dual consent state. In most states, only ONE party has to consent to a conversation being recorded. If you live in NY, you can record a phone call with someone and not tell them. It's ok. But if you do it in Maryland, it's a state wiretapping violation. There are actually 13 dual consent states. NJ is not one of them, but it doesn't matter, since neither person on the webcam consented to being recorded. Nice try, yourself! Next time, make sure you know what you're talking about and not trying to correct someone who does this for a living.
I'm having fun schooling this guy who said I was wrong! Here's another interesting quote from that website: "In 1991, a New Jersey trial court in the case of M.G. v. J.C., 254 N.J. Super. 470 (Ch. Div. 1991), addressed the issue as to whether a husband violated the wiretapping statute by taping his wife's telephone communications in the marital home, and whether such actions could result in damages. The court ruled that it was illegal for a person to record the phone conversations of his spouse with another person. The court reasoned that the invasion of privacy was severe. The court found that the secretive taping of a spouse's telephone calls under those circumstances as an egregious invasion that warranted both compensation and punitive damages." Thank you, thank you! Try the veal! Tip your waitress!
To pihjpg, it's called a "reasonable expectation of privacy." Even though the roommate has a right to have a webcam, he doesn't have a right to spy on his roommate. This is probably also a violation of state and federal wiretapping laws. There have been cases where people have tapped their home phones to record the conversations of their spouse to see if they are cheating. That's VERY illegal! It's the same thing here. Even though you own the phone, the people using it when you're not around have a reasonable expectation of privacy. As far as charging this idiot with manslaughter or murder, it really depends on how the laws for those two charges are written in NJ. The wording of the laws might not allow for it, no matter how deserved it is. *Just to clear something up, this is a wiretapping violation because it is recording or transmitting a conversation between two people who thought they were in private and did not consent to it. If you leave a tape recorder running in your boss' office to see what he says to other people when you're not around, that's a wiretapping violation.
Interesting that we all love viral videos and titllating stuff on this site and the web, but we judge these two so harshly for doing what we love so much to watch.
Your "we all" is minus one here. A very profound argument when you're not (and didn't choose to be (choice)) the star. Does your love subjugate any person's free choice?
Manslaughter? Don't be an idiot. If I committed suicide because your comment offended me to the core of my being, should you be charged with manslaughter? These morons need to be charged for something they did... and they didn't kill anybody.
"These morons need to be charged for something they did... and they didn't kill anybody. " Offensive comment? Reading comprehension issues? They were charged with exactly what they did. Here's hoping these geniuses experience the same kind of violation (in every possible way) in prison.
Try"proximate cause".. There will be one heck of a wrongful death suit. The posting of the video was the proximate cause of the suicide. If not for x, then y would not have occurred. It helps if you've actually gone to law school to discuss such things. The really sad part is that this sophomoric prank ruined the lives or all three of the people - and their families,. You cannot know the pain of losing a child - for any reason. The kids that took the video will be expelled from school and the reason why will always be in thier school records - and then of course there are the criminal charges and the soon to come civil charges. Both of those bright futures are over, too. Really, really sad. And don't forget the 'hate crime" laws. The ACLU and NAMBLA will be all over this.
Well put. You and I said pretty much the same thing at the same time. I think manslaughter is a possibility, I don't know for sure, but if it is possible, it's going to be a tough case. A wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents would be easier. But the very easy case is the invasion of privacy/wiretapping. That case is a slam dunk and the law provides for fines and civil penalties.
Well said :)
Wow, a bit over sensitive to commit suicide. All Ravi did was expose his secret. It's not his fault his roommate lived a secret life he was fatally ashamed of. It's a shame he didn't have the will power to shrug it off. Instead he killed himself, and some of you want to ruin two more lives. I highly doubt that Ravi was saying "Hey, lets get this guy to kill himself" If someone cuts themselves on purpose, should you just start picking and choosing people in their life that caused them stress to go to jail??? If someone commit suicide because they couldn't beat a certain level in a computer game would the game developer be charged??? Tip: Don't live a secret life, Don't commit suicide when it's exposed, Be proud with who you are
Apparently, a person's privacy (other than your own) has no meaning for you. Privacy is privacy. A person living their life doesn't know anything about living a "secret life", or about "being proud" until you people get involved. In this case, a young man is dead. You all should be very proud.
Where to begin. "All Ravi did" was secretly tape his teenage roommate having sex with a man and post it on the internet. If you're having trouble understanding why that's wrong and why the perpetrators of this grotesque and heartless invasion of privacy should be punished, there's almost nothing to be done for you. We know the George Washington Bridge works. Do us all a favor and take one for the team.
You're unbelievable. "dont live a secret life?" Wtf is wrong with you? This has nothing to do with a secret life. The reason people shut their bedroom doors is...NEWSFLASH! They want PRIVACY! This young man most likely felt as though he had been publicly RAPED. That alone is enough to send many a sensitive and introverted young person to commit suicide. Those two who videoed that AND posted it need to go to jail for the maximum sentence. But I'm willing to bet if they have a heart, the young man's death will be on their conscience for a while.
It's obvious by the story that the filming precipitated the suicide, but I believe legally they would not be cuplable of manslaughter. Invasion of privacy and lewd conduct online at best.
This is so sick and so sad. What do you expect from a generation that on one hand DEMANDS PC BS and on the other hand rewards insane humor. Listen to Howard Stern- Listen to all the stand up people- and this "prank" is mild compared to what they say and do. Then when tragedy happens you wonder why. This is sad beyond belief! What rock do these 2 live under- this was supposed to be funny- helloooooooooooooooooooo???
I have several questions on this story. 1. The prosecutor says in the press release that Ravi "placed" the Web cam in the room. But other stories say it was Ravi's room as well, and he just turned on his computer Web cam. 2. What is Wei's involvement? It looks like she was just Ravi's friend, with whom he spent the evening while the roommate was left alone. The prosecutor's statement doesn't say what she allegedly did in this case. 3. If it is Ravi's room, why can't he leave his computer with the Web cam on? If someone puts himself and his activities in front of it, what offense has Ravi committed.
Illegal wiretapping. See my post above.
I am not gay. Having said that, I am apalled at the cruelty of the couple who posted that thing on the internet. They had sufficient time to reflect on the evil they were doing to refrain from the evil they were committing. They knew the enormous harm they would inflict, and they ll consent to their sin. Obviously, by my choice of words, I am a traditional Catholic. While I am not at ease with homosexual lifestyles, I am copassionate to the pain of a young boy who suffered so much pain at the hands of these monsters. Prison is where they belong.
Well said sir. I am glad to see a religious person defend this fellow. This was about invasion of privacy and the utmost cruelty. NOT his lifestyle.
these two bozos should be charged with manslaughter