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  IS IT A CRIME?

Dharun Ravi Thought Tyler Clementi Was “Gay, Profoundly Uncool And Not Well Off”

dharun-raviThere are so many new facts in this New Yorker article about what led to Tyler Clementi‘s suicide that we’re still sorting through them. Much of it comes via instant-message communications released to the public record, which offer an intimate view into exactly what kind of person Clementi’s harasser, Dharun Ravi (right), is.

One wonders how heavily these facts will play into Ravi’s trial, which begins on February 21st. (Ravi rejected a plea deal of 600 hours of community service last month, preferring to face a jury. If sentenced, he faces a possibility of over five years in jail.)

Here’s some highlights that New Yorker reporter Ian Parker unravels:

*Ravi is the kind of kid who was athletic in high school, but not at the cool sports like football—he played for the Ultimate Frisbee team—so he boosted his confidence by taking down easy targets. He also used “DHARUNISAWESOME” as a computer password. (Really? Wow.)

*Ravi cyber-stalked Clementi before school even began, using the address Clementi had provided to Rutgers, keybowvio@yahoo.com. While snooping, he found Yahoo forum messages by Clementi, as well as posts on a gay-porn site and a T-shirt-making site.

*When Ravi found Clementi was conversing openly on the forum part of gay-porn site Justusboys.com, he said to high-school friend Jason Tam in an AIM conversation: “FUCK MY LIFE/ He’s gay,” adding “wtf” seven times. He then posted a link to one of Clementi’s threads on his Twitter feed with the comment “found out my roommate is gay.”

*Clementi and Ravi lacked communication as roommates but secretly monitored each other online before they even met. Clementi had even seen the “gay roomie” tweet before the semester started.

Reading through the entire article, though, you get the impression Ravi was actually more classist than homophobic:

Once Ravi understood that he would be living with Clementi, he felt that he knew these essential facts: his roommate was gay, profoundly uncool, and not well off. If the first attribute presented both a complication and a happy chance to gossip, the second and third were perceived as failings. “I was fucking hoping for someone with a gmail but no,” Ravi wrote to Tam. Clementi’s Yahoo e-mail address symbolized a grim, dorky world, half seen, of fish tanks and violins. Ravi’s IMs about Tyler’s presumed poverty were far more blunt than those about sexual orientation. At one point during his exchanges with Tam that weekend, Ravi wrote, “Dude I hate poor people.”

And, like many bullies, Ravi seemed to mask low self-esteem by attacking others and bragging about imaginary accomplishments.

[Accomplice Molly Wei] said that [Ravi] claimed to have been the captain of an all-black basketball team that had won the state championship. And he told her that he was “on billboards all over India, and that he was famous in Canada for snowboarding.” She supposed that he was trying to impress her—and she “tried explaining to him that it would be better if he didn’t try to. But I think he was really adamant about it. He was, like, ‘No, this is who I am.’ ” Wei cut him off. During her senior year, Wei mentioned all this to Mark Lin, a mutual friend. Lin passed on what she had said, and, as Wei recalled to the police, Ravi “got really mad, because no one ever confronts him about this stuff.” She said that Ravi called her a “lying bitch” and a “whore.”

Ravi derided Clementi’s hook-up partner, “M.B.” as poor and therefore untrustworthy—underscoring his classist tendencies again.

Ravi thought that M.B. seemed “really shady.” [Molly Wei] went on, “He actually was kind of angry. He’s, like, ‘If he steals my iPad I’m going to make Tyler pay for it.’ And he’s, like, ‘Oh, and my roommate’s gay, like what if something else is going on?’ ” Speaking to the police, Ravi recalled M.B. as “slightly overweight,” with facial hair of some sort. Ravi’s reaction appears to have included some class prejudice: the man, apparently working-class, was a likely thief. He was “random,” as one of Molly Wei’s friends later put it—he was troublingly not of their world.

There’s also some interesting revelations about what happened right before Clementi headed to the George Washington Bridge to kill himself.

Ravi was in the room when, sometime after five o’clock, Clementi returned to Davidson C. This may have been the first time they had interacted since Sunday. Ravi later recalled Clementi “doing something by his desk.” That’s where police found the handwritten note, inside Clementi’s backpack. (The note’s contents have not yet been disclosed to the Clementi family.) Ravi and Clementi were there together for less than an hour. It’s not known if they talked—there is no electronic record.

What happened in those crucial minutes where they were together? Did they argue? Did Ravi put Clementi down? At this point, Clementi had reported the spying to Rutgers authorities and Ravi had been approached by a counselor who told him Clementi would be changing rooms.

Shortly before Clementi jumped, it appears Ravi tried to reach him to settle their differences, but it was too late.

Five minutes after Clementi posted [his farewell message] to Facebook, Ravi sent him a long text. (Ravi later said that he saw the Facebook posting only on the following day.) He told Clementi that, on Sunday night, he was showing Wei his webcam setup when he’d caught an accidental glimpse of Clementi, adding, “Obviously I told people what occurred so they could give me advice.” He said of Tuesday night, “I turned my camera away and put my computer to sleep so even if anyone tried it wouldn’t work. I wanted to make amends for sunday night. I’m sorry if you heard something distorted and disturbing but I assure you all my actions were good natured.”

Ten minutes later, Ravi wrote again, in a less weaselly way. This message is something that one wishes had been written three weeks before: “I’ve known you were gay and I have no problem with it. In fact one of my closest friends is gay and he and I have a very open relationship. I just suspected you were shy about it which is why I never broached the topic. I don’t want your freshman year to be ruined because of a petty misunderstanding, it’s adding to my guilt. You have a right to move if you wish but I don’t want you to feel pressured to without fully understanding the situation.”

Was Ravi’s “apology” sincere or a desperate attempt to cover his ass when he realized how distraught—even suicidal—Clementi was? Even the late February trial might not find the answer. But anyone who still thinks this was an innocent college prank gone awry will certainly have their eyes opened.

By:           Evan Mulvihill
On:           Jan 31, 2012
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 66 Comments
    • NYEer Reader
      NYEer Reader

      Just read the article and came here to see if there was any coverage — jackpot! Excellent job highlighting the article but a few important points to mention also:

      Apparently Ravi immediately changed the wording of his tweets to sound less aggressive and less incriminating upon finding out that Clementi was missing.

      After Wei was questioned by the police, they texted each other in which they discussed how to cover up the webcam incident.

      This is amazing how they were able to dig up every IM,text,tweet and blog posting these people did.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 4:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      Thank goodness for technology. Ravi is a murderer, essentially, IMO. I think the “apology” was a way to cover his ass, nothing more or less. He’s a homophobic, classist psychopath, and a lying bully to boot. Textbook. I wish he could get rougher charges. He gets off with a few years in prison- if that- while Tyler loses his life.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 4:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • disco lives
      disco lives

      I’m sure you’ll have much “cooler” roomates in prison, you douchebag.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 4:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike
      Spike

      Classic homophobe line . . .

      “In fact one of my closest friends is gay . . . .”

      Curious why they always seem to think that making such a claim will be their get out of jail free card. Wonder what his so called closest friend, the gay one one, thinks about what he did to this kid now?

      Jan 31, 2012 at 4:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Spike: I’d LOVE to meet this friend and have a chat…

      Jan 31, 2012 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kenny
      Kenny

      @Shannon1981: You stupid bitch, it was Clementi who made the choice to kill himself. Ravi is a lowlife scumbag and should be severely punished for what he did, but don’t call him a murderer.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 5:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre Magi
      Ogre Magi

      People get the idea that college is better than High School, but often it isn’t.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 5:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wesley Horace
      Wesley Horace

      I’ve known guys like Ravi before. That apology was not sincere at all. His elitism about being rich and famous bothers me much more than his homophobia.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 5:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wesley Horace
      Wesley Horace

      It says so much that he didn’t take the plea deal. A jury will not help him at all. He will be found guilty but not serve a day in jail unfortunately.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 5:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Kenny: He bullied Clementi to death. And name calling discredits anything you might have to say to me.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 5:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Isaac C
      Isaac C

      @Wesley Horace: Why do you say that? Why won’t he serve?

      Jan 31, 2012 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Giovannidude
      Giovannidude

      Doesn’t the fact that he rejected the plea deal tell you something about Ravi? Because he is “awesome” and comes from a wealthy family, he probably thinks he can beat the charge at trial and be found not guilty. But what if he gets a working-class jury from some of the less elegant neighborhoods of New Brunswick though? What will they think about his elitist, obnoxious rants? You don’t even have to be gay to sympathize with Tyler Clementi, and be offended by his tormentor.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 5:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike UK
      Mike UK

      well if he does go to prison he’ll be coming out with a butt hole like a wizards sleeve!!!

      Jan 31, 2012 at 5:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      Read the article. Everyone involved reeks of uncoolness. To me it seemed very homophobic, almost prurient creepy attitudes

      Jan 31, 2012 at 5:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      Just brace yourselves, guys.. no jury is going to convict him of anything.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 6:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Larry
      Larry

      weird how wei was also a victim of his exaggerated sense of self worth but jumped on board with both his spying scheme and the cover up…sounds like she has some self esteem problems too

      Jan 31, 2012 at 6:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Fitz: All I can say is I hope it’s not a jury full rich pricks or ‘phobes. And, even if it is, hopefully, they are not of the variety that actually want us dead.

      That’s gonna make all the difference. Whether or not their level of disgust goes far enough for them to advocate the murder of all LGBT people.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 6:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @Fitz: 15 charges with strong evidence and a defendent with a rotten personality? I’ll give the jury 90 minutes to find him guilty.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 7:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Kev C: It’s a possibility, unfortunately. Do you know how many gay bashers get off scot free?

      Jan 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      All of this info has been in the public record for nearly a year. Evan Mulvihill wouldn’t know that because he doesn’t actually dirty his hands with real journalism. He is only learning about it now and reporting it as if it is breaking news because he gets his material from the work of others. Now that the New Yorker has done a piece on it, Mulvihill thinks that this must be a breaking story. I guess we should all be gratefult hat Dan Villarreal isn’t around to do a follow-up piece on Clementi’s sexual proclivities.

      Pathetic and parasitic. That’s Queerty.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Re “This is amazing how they were able to dig up every IM,text,tweet and blog posting these people did.”

      Not so amazing – obviously the servers (and phones) are storing copies of everything. For the phones, if you delete something, it probably goes onto a ‘free list’ that can be inspected after the fact. The question we should be asking is how much of this stuff gets analyzed by the phone companies and sold to marketers, who are very interested in building up a “profile” of each and every person they can find.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 8:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
      David Ehrenstein

      Glad you hit some of the highlights but this is a teriffic artcile that deserves to be read with the care that was put into writign it. We’ve all read a lot about the Clementi suicide before but the “New Yorker” piece puts it into a much deeper perspective. It wasn’t simply the case of him learnign that Ravi spied on him and then killing himself — whcih some lazily written news accounts would suggest. Clementi had a supportive father but an unsupportive mother. That surely did not help.

      What we all long to know is what went on in that last meeting between Clementi and Ravi. Alas we never will bcause Clementi’s dead and Ravi is a lying piece of shit. His overweenig ego allows him to think he can talk his way out of this. But I do’t think that’s going to happen. This case has touched people who’ve never thought about the issues involved before.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 8:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Sam: Where is Daniel Villahreal?

      Jan 31, 2012 at 8:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Loz
      Loz

      Ravi was right about one thing. Molly Wei iIS a bitch.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 8:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AxelDC
      AxelDC

      This article is an attempt by the kids lawyers to doge anything related to gay or hate crimes.

      The first thing he complained about was that his roomate is gay, but over and over the article keeps trying to claim that the reason he didn’t like Clemente was because he wasn’t rich. Sorry but he made several tweets about gay and just happened to mention the other stuff.

      Nice try.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 9:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jinx
      Jinx

      I went to Rutgers and this tragic case broke my heart. Unfortunately, university dorms are littered with people like Dharun Ravi. Although I didn’t know him, my heart aches for Tyler and his lonely life of rejection and social ostracism. This case is one of the reasons why I’m studying to be a mental health counselor for LGBT teens and adults. Hopefully one day, kids like Tyler won’t feel so alone.

      Jan 31, 2012 at 11:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Caliban
      Caliban

      Read the whole article. As much as I hate to say it there’s still no smoking gun.

      Did Dharun Ravi do a shitty thing? Yes.

      Does he deserve 5 or 10 years in prison for it? Not in my opinion.

      It’s like there’s a missing piece somewhere because Tyler Clementi was talking (IMing really) with friends about it, talking on message boards about it, and he was upset but he wasn’t freaking out about it. He’d spoken to the Dorm Leader (or whatever they call it) and was getting a new roommate.

      Then within a day he was dead. It just doesn’t make sense.

      He was lonely. He had a hard time making friends and didn’t like that fact. He didn’t want to be a violinist but he didn’t know what else he wanted to do. He felt like his mother rejected him when he came out. (She doesn’t see it that way.) It sounds like he was depressed and he went on a trip taking pictures of bridges before he ever met Dharun Ravi. At worst what happened at Rutgers was the straw that broke the camels’ back.

      Dharun Ravi should be punished for what he DID but you can’t punish him as a stand-in for every bully in the world, make him pay for what he didn’t do. And he didn’t “drive Tyler Clementi to suicide.” They knew each other less than a month. Suicide is more complicated than that, not so easy to blame on one person or event. Believe me, I fucking HATE bullies and I’m not making excuses for Dharun Ravi. But sending him to prison isn’t justice and it’s not going to make the world a better place. Maybe a better understanding of all the reasons why Tyler Clementi took his own life would make it better, but using Dharun Ravi as the scapegoat for a complex event doesn’t help a goddamn thing.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 1:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Drew
      Drew

      At least this article is better than the one queerty did where they asked what Tyler’s “Type” of guy is. SMH *Facepalm* :(

      Feb 1, 2012 at 1:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      Great, more excuses for GLBT people to post racist things against Asians. I’ve seen enough of that shit when people commented on any article related to Tyler and there’s no excuse for it and it’s just as bad as homophobia/biphobia.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 1:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 30 · Chris wrote, “Great, more excuses for GLBT people to post racist things against Asians.” Aside from a childish and racist comment by Shannon (No 27), who doesn’t know how to release the Caps Lock key, people are not posting racist comments.

      Could we direct the criticism at the few individuals with “issues” and not blame everyone else?

      Feb 1, 2012 at 3:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      @Chris: I’ve found most Indians and Indian-Americans to be homo-friendly (or at least neutral on the subject) as well as being exceedingly smart people. (But also somewhat snobby and class-conscious). Okay, that’s not from a scientific poll or anything, that’s just from my own experiences with them.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 3:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike Hipp
      Mike Hipp

      It’s exceedingly difficult to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that this douchebag’s actions directly caused a person to commit suicide. He rejected the plea because his lawyer knows this.

      He will go to trial and he will be found not guilty.

      One more thing about all of these gay suicides that seem to be feeding on one another. WTF? I’m gay, I grew up in the middle of the bible belt and went to public schools my entire life. I was bullied every single day for being gay, up to the point of regular physical assault. My parents were deeply pentecostal. gay hating bigots and I was kicked out of the house at 16 to fend for myself.

      I never, once, considered killing myself over what I was going through. WTF? These kids don’t have it nearly as hard as I did. Is the added component of a online social life make that much difference?

      Feb 1, 2012 at 4:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Mike Hipp: That’s an interesting question. The one thing about this age of technology is that it simply makes people more aware. Perhaps for every gay person like you who survives bigots and get out… there are just as many who don’t make it. Maybe the only difference is that we know about it now?

      Feb 1, 2012 at 4:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @Mike Hipp:
      Did he spy and invade privacy? Yes.
      Did he tamper with evidence? Yes.
      Did he tamper with witnesses? Probably yes.
      Did he hinder and evade prosecution? Yes.
      And the big question: Did he spy on Tyler because he was gay?

      Holy crap, the prosecutors have a strong case again Dhurun.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 6:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FromTwitter
      FromTwitter

      Ask yourself this: Did Dharun insult Tyler to his face? Did he call him the f-word? Did he ever attempt to intimidate him? From the article, it seems like he never even said a cross word to Tyler. Does he deserve to go to jail for leaving a webcam on in his OWN room? The session wasn’t even recorded, and wasn’t viewed by more than 2-3 people. Its ridiculous to send someone to jail for a harmless prank.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 7:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @FromTwitter: Read the article, he had a 150 viewers to the feed. He deliberately spied and tried to hide it. He and his friends use homophobic language, have negative attitudes towards gays, and targetted Tyler because he’s gay. I think the jury will see that.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 7:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FromTwitter
      FromTwitter

      @Kev C: I re-read the article. The article states that Dharun Ravi had 150 Twitter followers, not 150 people viewing the feed. I don’t think it’s even possible to stream videos on Twitter to your followers. Using homophobic language is not a felony, millions of kids and adults use it everyday.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 9:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      If there is going to be justice, it’s going to be street justice. and I doubt even that will happen. Face it boys & girls— we are on our own with these things. THEY HATE US.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 9:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert in NYC
      Robert in NYC

      Hmmmm, Ravi doesn’t like “poor people”. Hmmmm, probably will vote republican.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 9:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MKe
      MKe

      That’s so annoying to cyber spy on people like that. Nobody thinks some student is going to take their email and see every comment they’ve posted, even on porn websites. How does he think Tyler would have felt about this invasion of privacy? Oh I guess he knows how Tyler felt. I think this guy had a good deal with the community service and he blew it so he should go to jail.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 11:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Arek
      Arek

      @Caliban: Finally, somebody with some sense!! You’re exactly right. Ravi is a despicable human being, but that doesn’t make him a murderer.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
      David Ehrenstein

      @Arek: He’s not being charged with murder dipshit.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 1:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Arek
      Arek

      @David Ehrenstein: I never said he was being charged with murder. That was in response to many people’s vilification of him (and in particular, a post or two in this very thread that called him a “MURDERER”). Either way, I’m really not sure why you felt the need to resort to name-calling over something so small.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Arek: He is a murderer and he deserves to be villified. Whether or not Tyler had other stuff going on regarding the issue of his gayness- irrelevant. THIS is what pushed him to jump off that bridge. It’s a fact. Something or someone else may have loaded the gun, but Dhuran Ravi pulled the trigger.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 5:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Arek
      Arek

      @Shannon1981: No, it is not a fact. You may need to look that word up. It has not been proven in any way whatsoever.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 5:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MKe
      MKe

      @Arek: He’s still a criminal.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 6:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MKe
      MKe

      If Clemente had been a woman who this guy watched have sex, and then she killed herself, Ravi would be in jail by now.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • perdeep
      perdeep

      Wait, he’s gay, unpopular, AND poor? Well then he definitely deserves to die. Being any one of those things is bad enough, but being all three basically forfeits your right to live.

      …fucking rich kids. Legally a criminal or not, he’s obviously a grade-A douchebag.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 6:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe32
      Joe32

      I thought it was a fairly balanced story on the case..one thing I wish the article would have mentioned was Tyler also posted that he wanted to pour “pink” paint over all of Ravi’s stuff to get back at him, obviously he says pink because he knew he was spied on because he was gay which is bias intimidation

      Feb 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 37 · FromTwitter wrote, “@Kev C: I re-read the article. The article states that Dharun Ravi had 150 Twitter followers, not 150 people viewing the feed.”

      To add some more details, it isn’t reasonable to think that a student’s computer and Internet connection could support 150 simultaneous video streams: it could be done with IP multicast, but that has not been widely deployed and without IP multicast, you’ll probably run out of resources.

      Let’s encourage people to think before making such claims.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Arek: No, I don’t. It is clear that after this video incident, Tyler Clementi jumped off that bridge. What else could have possibly been his reason?

      Feb 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 51 · Shannon1981 wrote, “@Arek: No, I don’t. It is clear that after this video incident, Tyler Clementi jumped off that bridge. What else could have possibly been his reason?”

      Saying “I can’t think of another reason so my guess must be true” is not a valid argument. Lots of things other than the video could have been going on. One possibility is that Tyler Clementi’s boyfriend decided to break up with him or decided he wasn’t comfortable visiting Tyler in his dorm room. Another is that Ravi, after a lot of Internet-based “data mining” came up with a “dossier” that he threatened to pass on to Tyler’s parents (something Ravi would not spill to the police if he in fact did that). You can generate any number of other hypotheses, but the problem is that we can’t really test them, and in particular we can’t ask someone who is now dead. The sensible thing to say is simply the truth: we don’t know and quite likely can’t find out.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @B: The kid had other problems, no doubt. However, I am saying its dangerous to deny that Ravi played a key role in this suicide. And no, I am not saying this because I am in that camp that wants to hold Tyler Clementi up as a martyr. Quite the opposite, in fact. However, trying to say that what Ravi did was douchey but not criminal, and that it wasn’t the catalyst for this suicide is simply false.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 10:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TASTEY GOODIES
      TASTEY GOODIES

      I love east- Indian culture, but unfortunately they still have a caste system there. It seems like Ravi had “classism” issues. Soooo sad.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 10:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 53 · Shannon1981 wrote, “@B: The kid had other problems, no doubt. However, I am saying its dangerous to deny that Ravi played a key role in this suicide.”

      I’ve no idea if he had other problems – that’s a guess as much as it is a guess that “Ravi played a key role in this suicide.” There’s simply a lack of data on which to draw any conclusion regarding the reason for the suicide. Of course, there may be some information that the D.A. is withholding so as to not prejudice a jury, but if that is the case, it will come out during or after the trial. Whether what Ravi did was criminal or not will also be determined by the trial. It’s only a month or so away. Why not do the sensible thing as admit that we have insufficient data to draw any firm conclusion at this time?

      So far, what we have are wild-assed guesses – like the one about 150 viewers, which is technically unlikely. We don’t even know how many of Ravi’s 150 Twitter followers bothered to even try to “iChat” with him – there’s not going to be any information on Ravi’s computer as the computer was powered off, and we don’t know what data about failed iChat connections is stored on servers. Possibly none of Ravi’s “followers” bothered – an unknown number might follow his “tweets” merely for amusement.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @B: I do not believe that the idea that this videoing that Ravi and his pal Wei did wasn’t criminal, nor do I believe that it is an unreasonable idea that it was a factor in the suicide, if not the straw that finally broke the camel’s back. These are not wild assumptions. If they were, there would be no charges and no trial.

      Feb 1, 2012 at 11:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 56 · Shannon1981 wrote, “@B: I do not believe that the idea that this videoing that Ravi and his pal Wei did wasn’t criminal, nor do I believe that it is an unreasonable idea that it was a factor in the suicide, if not the straw that finally broke the camel’s back. These are not wild assumptions. If they were, there would be no charges and no trial.”

      Ravi is not being charged with contributing to the suicide. He’s being charged for his use of a cam, or possibly his attempted use of a cam. There’s a number of things the prosecution will have to prove to get a conviction, and a jury cannot lawfully convict someone on the grounds that a conviction does not require “wild assumptions” – a conviction requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

      People on this thread are making wild assumptions however – like the 150 viewers (actually 150 twitter followers who might have only read the ‘tweets’) allegedly connecting to a computer that was powered off. That may sound like an inconsequential detail, but it has a bearing on exactly what, if anything, Ravi can be convicted of.

      It will depend partly on the exact wording of the NJ statute – attempting but failing to show a video is not the same as actually showing it, so you first have to check if the wording of the statute covers both or only actually distributing the video by some means.

      Unfortunately, people are simply guessing.

      Feb 2, 2012 at 2:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B [Different person #1 using similar name]

      But what do I know, I get most of my legal information from watching Judge Judy in my trailer, and from listening to Clarence Thomas (my cat).

      Feb 2, 2012 at 2:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Surita
      Surita

      THATS RAVI?? he doesn’t LOOK rich or well off to me.

      Feb 2, 2012 at 7:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alejandro
      Alejandro

      What he did to Tyler was absolutely appalling. I have so much anger towards him for causing the death of someone who clearly did nothing of harm to him. The only sentence I would be satisfied with is life in jail for this douchebag. Psychopath.

      Feb 2, 2012 at 8:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Arek
      Arek

      Maybe people don’t want to hear this, but Tyler still CHOSE to end his life. What Ravi did was stupid, selfish, appalling and possibly criminal, but to state that he “caused” Tyler’s death is ludicrous.

      Feb 2, 2012 at 9:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 58 · B – more posts from the cyberstalker / forger

      Feb 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KORAY
      KORAY

      Dharun Ravi is a spoiled brat (who drove a BMW in high school !) who had arrived in this country from the state of Tamil Nadu in India. He may have adopted the ways of the privileged in this country, but he had a zero understanding of the culture of his adopted country. Further, his co-conspirators were also immigrants from east or south-east Asia. Ravi (and Molly Wei, to a lesser extent) is responsible for Tyler’s death. This is beyond a teenager prank. Not only he was mean, hateful, self-serving (increase his own popularity etc.) he was a bigot. He should get the stiffest punishment available under our laws; no plea bargaining, no clemency. He should see how as a young man he will fare in jail with many many men who routinely rape younger inmates. He deserves it! (disclosure: I am not even gay).

      Feb 4, 2012 at 1:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tristero47
      tristero47

      To me the class aspect of those involved may further elucidate things. Tyler Clementi’s class situation was somewhat at odds w/ the upper-class median of Rutgers U. Perhaps for love he sought out somebody different–somebody he could identify with on a class level. TC’s boyish looks would have been vastly sufficient to attract any number of queer guys at Rutgers. Perhaps people too quickly overlook the multidimensional aspects of romance when it comes to homosexuality. Perhaps even fewer people are even able to accept, let alone comprehend, how one’s class experience generates and inclines one’s romantic emotion, whether gay, straight, or otherwise. Anyway the media certainly does what it can to portray a unidimensional nature of gay sexuality which essentially reduces to lust. Like that’s all one needs. I’m hetro but know enough of human nature that most people want intimacy–i.e. love w/ their sexual activity. At any rate MB, whoever he is, is proletarian: that seems clear enough. Ravi does indeed seem classist. And classism shares that trait w/ racism that the most overt of its practitioners are among those who must overtly do things to distance themselves from the group they must disdain. In this case, as w/ irish and italian americans who readily deploy crude racist language against brown skinned people–because they live near them–so Mr Ravi needs to vocally hate on poor people, his dark skin in itself approximating him by connotation with the non-elite i.e. poorer classes. Anyway Evan if you wish to continue this line of discourse feel free to email me. If you think my take is bonkers don’t get all irate. I’m an unorthodox thinker, not a sociologist.

      Feb 13, 2012 at 9:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David
      David

      Putting a 19-year-old in prison, and writing gleefully vengeful posts on the internet, hoping he might get raped is HORRIBLE! By that standard, more than a few posters here, need look no further than a mirror to find a “cyber” bully.

      Ravi seems to be a Grade-A prick, but he didn’t rape anyone, and he didn’t kill anyone. He didn’t even bully in the traditional sense. What is bullying? Why is it a guilty pleasure when Joan Rivers or Perez Hilton do it–PUBLICLY, for a LIVING–making fun of people’s clothes, or partying, or addiction, or who or how many people they’re screwing? Is it because there hasn’t been a suicide? Do they belong in jail too, along with anyone working for a tabloid or TMZ, or is it only “murder” when someone independently takes their own life? Have -you- joked about those things about friends or frenemies? Do you belong in jail if they commit suicide, perhaps even years later?

      What’s happening here is setting a precedent, people.

      One thing to note, is that everything you’ve ever tweeted or posted is -also- stored in the digital stratosphere, and -that’s- quite disturbing. Why is wiretapping illegal without a pre-obtained warrant, yet other communication isn’t protected the same way? Something essentially different about digitally written communication and wire-tapping, is that it’s impossible to wiretap the past; time-line is restricted in wiretaps, but not in SMS or email. Your privacy is dead. Nothing you say is off limits. Now -that’s- scary!

      Feb 22, 2012 at 4:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      @David: Re. your first paragraph : that’s the gay world for you. I’ve seen even worse than that as far as hoping for others to come to harm.

      Feb 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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