Tyler Clementi Roommate Dharun Ravi Charged With Hate Crime
In a legal move signaling the seriousness with which local officials are taking the Tyler Clementi suicide, Middlesex County prosecutors yesterday released a 15-count indictment against Tyler’s roommate Dharun Ravi. Because the indictment includes 4 counts of bias intimidation — a hate crime — Ravi could face up to 10 years in prison.
Ravi had already faced invasion of privacy charges along with another Rutgers student, Molly Wei. It took prosecutors months to present their case to a grand jury alleging that Ravi targeted Clementi because of his sexual orientation and tried to broadcast the encounter online to intimidate his roommate . .
“The grand jury indictment spells out cold and calculated acts against our son, Tyler, by his former college roommate,” Clementi’s parents, Jane and Joe Clementi, said in a statement. “If these facts are true, as they appear to be, then it is important for our criminal justice system to establish clear accountability under the law.”
Ravi might be wise to plea-bargain with prosecutors. His behavior subsequent to Clementi’s dying in the Hudson River will probably dismay jurors.
When Ravi became worried about being charged with a crime, he sent false tweets in an attempt “to mislead a public servant who was engaged in such proceeding or investigation,” the indictment reads.
He also attempted to destroy tweets from his twitter feed, prosecutors allege. In addition, the indictment says that Ravi tried to convince other students to not testify against him.
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