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TRIAL UPDATE

Jurors In Dharun Ravi Trial Won’t Hear About Tyler Clementi’s Room-Change Request

The jury in the Dharun Ravi trial won’t hear details about Tyler Clementi’s request to change dorm rooms shortly before committing suicide in September 2010.

As ABC News reports, Clementi’s online housing form listed the reason for the request as “roommate with webcam spying on me/want a single room.”

Prosecutor Julie McClure wanted to submit the request into evidence but defense attorneys Steven Altman and Philip Nettl objected, claiming it was hearsay and may have been filed by someone other than Clementi.  Judge Glenn Berman ruled that the part of the statement where Clementi accused his roommate of spying was inadmissable.

Ravi  is charged with  invasion of privacy for filming two of Clementi’s gay trysts, as well as bias intimidation, witness tampering and hindering arrest.

Photo via ABC News

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Feb 27, 2012
Tagged: , , ,
  • 40 Comments
    • EmmaMTF
      EmmaMTF

      This guy does not deserve more than a year in jail. I hope the jurors only convict him for privacy invasion and the other post-suicide crimes. Dharun doesn’t deserve to be punished for Tyler’s suicidal hangups.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Robertson
      Mr. Robertson

      Good. Anything that makes his conviction less likely is a good thing. This guy’s already had his life wrecked; he doesn’t deserve a conviction (and possible deportation) on top of everything.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Carrie
      Carrie

      WTF?

      Feb 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
      David Ehrenstein

      Ignore the trolls.

      This case was along shot from the sart because juries are hostile to us. I just hope his life is ruined forever — as it should be.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Robertson
      Mr. Robertson

      @David Ehrenstein: Yeah. Apparently, being gay requires wanting to see this kid lynched; anyone who doesn’t is a “troll.”

      Feb 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cwm
      cwm

      people will interpret clementi’s request in terms of their preconceived notions. I doubt it’ll have much impact on the trial’s outcome.

      if not a single one of the jurors already knew about it, they’re an uncurious bunch. but that’s a bias inherent in the juror selection process.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Malcolm
      Malcolm

      Good riddance to scum. Ravi is a disgusting sociopath who drove Tyler to his death.Jury or no and this ruling is just another corrupt attempt to get this vile, despicable low life off. For godsake can’t they check handwriting samples to see if Tyler wrote it? This trial is a corrupt farce.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Robertson
      Mr. Robertson

      @Malcolm: You don’t know why Tyler Clementi killed himself. Nobody does. So relax, and put down the pitchfork.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      Tyler never should have committed suicide. He should have stayed alive and sued the pants off Ravi, and everybody else. Including his own bitch of a mother.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Malcolm
      Malcolm

      @Mr. Robertson: I certainly won’t be taking any advice from ppl who support criminal activity and criminals generally. Thank-you.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Robertson
      Mr. Robertson

      @Malcolm: Even if the advice is “get the facts right before you start mouthing off?” Something tells me, though, that that’s a piece of advice you’ve been ignoring your whole life :-p

      Feb 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KyleW
      KyleW

      @Mr. Robertson: I agree, judge Ravi for his “crimes”, not Clementi’s actions. It’s impossible to say to what extent Ravi’s actions lead to Clementi’s suicide, but even if they were 100% responsible, he shouldn’t be held responsible for Clementi’s instability. It’s like someone saying boo to a person with a heart condition, then gving them the death penalty because the victim died from a heart attack.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RiRi
      RiRi

      He ruined his own life and the lives of others because he thought he was being cute. It’s his fault. Do the crime, do the time. He destroyed the mental health of someone enough for them to take their own life. Let this be a lesson to all bullies. I hope he goes to jail.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 7 · Malcolm wrote, “For godsake can’t they check handwriting samples to see if Tyler wrote it? This trial is a corrupt farce.”

      What makes you think the request was hand-written? He could have emailed it or filled in an HTML form. Even if he had to log in to make the request, there’s no way of telling if he stepped away for his computer for a few minutes and someone else typed in the request. Someone else doing it is a remote possibility, but probably not so remote as to remove reasonable doubt. Also, given the suicide, there is no possibility to cross examine to ask if the claim on the request might have been exaggerated due to being angry at the time. So, you have a situation where the prosecutor would quite understandably want to use it and the defense attorney would quite understandably want it to be inadmissible.

      The judge probably threw it out to make sure a conviction wouldn’t be overturned on an appeal as there is a reasonable argument that the statements in the request might not be reliable for one of several possible (although somewhat unlikely) reasons. If so, the situation is the opposite of what Malcolm claimed: rather than turning the proceedings into a farce, the judge was trying to make sure it wouldn’t be a farce.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Robertson
      Mr. Robertson

      @RiRi:

      A) No one knows why Tyler Clementi killed himself. All we know is that he committed suicide *shortly after* the incident with Rhavi. There is no proof of a causal relation between Rhavi’s actions and Tyler’s death.

      B) You really think that having a douchey roommate can “destroy the mental health of someone enough for them to take their own life”? If everyone who ended up with a dick for a freshman roommate attempted suicide, the death rate of 18-year-olds would be sky-high.

      C) Even if we assumed that Rhavi did somehow push Tyler over the edge, wouldn’t that mean that Tyler already was unstable and had other, more profound issues going on? I, for one, think stuff like, say, having your mom be a bitch to you when you come out would be a bigger factor in a young man’s suicide than having to deal with an asshole roommate.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 7:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Giovannidude
      Giovannidude

      @Mr. Robertson:

      Ravi wrecked his own life because he’s an immature jerk. It isn’t the media’s fault — or Tyler Clementi’s fault — that Ravi is an immature jerk.

      Whatever happened to your speculating about the bright future Ravi will now miss out on? A bright future as what? As a peeping Tom or as an immature jerk?

      With Clementi’s death, society will lose a violinist capable of playing in a symphony orchestra.

      If Ravi thought he was innocent, he wouldn’t have had to tamper with evidence, or tamper with a witness (Molly Wei).

      Feb 27, 2012 at 7:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Robertson
      Mr. Robertson

      @Giovannidude: 50 bucks if you find the post where I speculate about Ravi’s “bright future.” Dude’s pretty fucked, but he clearly doesn’t want to get deported to India, so he’s refusing the plea deals and taking his day in court. And since I don’t need a pound of flesh, I’ll root for his acquittal.

      As for his wrecking his own life because he’s an immature jerk, sure. Thing is, though, most teenage boys kind of are, and most of them don’t have their lives wrecked because their immature jerkiness doesn’t happen to shortly precede someone’s suicide. Tough luck for Ravi?

      Feb 27, 2012 at 7:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh, ok.
      Oh, ok.

      @Mr. Robertson: His skin is brown, they don’t care, they want him hung. (the commenters = they)

      Don’t waste your breath. This is the typical racism you see frequent Queerty daily.

      Yet when a white man murdered Don Belton a black man and they accused Belton of trying to rape him. (They had sex more than once, the guy was cheating on his girlfriend with Belton, and then the guy decided to scream his way back into the closet) They also said the white guy…a murderer was “hot”. Essentially most of them said Belton asked for it and these were gay men commenting.

      The story isn’t covered anymore because a black gay man who was the victim of murder by a closeted(downlow) white gay man isn’t something most white gay men want to get out. It would make claiming only black men are “on the downlow” a lot harder.

      Yet this kid picked on someone(which is wrong) and it’s time to hang him from a tree. Right.

      If he was white and “hot” you would not be seeing these comments.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 7:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • stevoj
      stevoj

      @Mr. Robertson: please don’t make such generalizations. some boys may be crass but “jerks” is a bit much. i don’t like that whole “boys will be boys” excuse. going by the evidence that has been presented and the logs of texts and emails that were found one can easily say that Ravi is a self-centered and mean-spirited young adult. he was well aware of his actions and he ridiculed Tyler in order to boost his own self-esteem. he needs to accept the punishment for his actions

      forgiveness starts with yourself and if you won’t even acknowledge the wrong that you’ve done then he is the one ruining his life. at least he has one to live

      Feb 27, 2012 at 8:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Giovannidude
      Giovannidude

      @Mr. Robertson:

      Ravi has more serious things to worry about than being deported to India.

      After he is convicted on two state felony charges (evidence tampering and witness tampering), he will be sentenced to state prison, because he’s an adult, and not “a boy”.
      Just think of him transferring from Rutgers to Rahway State. He’ll get quite an education there. He may even experience things there that he probably wouldn’t experience on the outside– although who knows, maybe he would have…after all, they say Ultimate Frisbee is sooooo gay. Bet he doesn’t brag about these prison experiences to his buddies, though.

      After a couple of years at Rahway State, he probably won’t be such an arrogant snob. So maybe things will work out in the end, and he may become a better man for it.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Robertson
      Mr. Robertson

      @Giovannidude: So being an asshole to one’s roommate gets you up in arms, but the idea of a teenager being raped in prison seems to you like a good thing? This case really does make some people blood-thirsty.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 8:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      Ugh not the use of the term “Bullycyde” by queerty yet again. As others have said nobody knows why Tyler killed himself and he probably had been depressed or suicidal before this as well but instead of telling someone or getting help he killed himself.

      David Ehrenstein-quit being such an eldergay troll yourself you hypocrite.

      CBRad-What’s wrong with Tyler’s mother? She seemed to take his coming out and his brother’s coming out very well. She didn’t disown them or kick them out of the house.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 8:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charlie
      Charlie

      @Mr. Robertson: He did not kill anyone and he is not on trial for murder. He did do something illegal and should be tried for that

      “Thing is, though, most teenage boys kind of are, and most of them don’t have their lives wrecked because their immature jerkiness doesn’t happen to shortly precede someone’s suicide.”

      When someone takes the kind of risk that he took something awful could happen they do need to live with the consequences. I’m not sure what you mean about his life being ruined, that’s a tad hyperbolic. He did something unconscionable and there may be legal ramifications. It’s very unfortunate for all involved but why does that mean he desrves an acquittal?

      Feb 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Giovannidude
      Giovannidude

      @Mr. Robertson:

      This case also brings the criminal-coddlers out from under rocks. What you want is to see Ravi’s wealthy father buy his way out of the trouble the spoiled brat got himself into. There will be no justice if you have your way. High-priced lawyers will make a mockery out of the New Jersey justice system if you had your way.

      PS–I never said anything about your “boy” being raped in prison…that was your imagination working there. He’ll probably end up in protective custody at Rahway State anyway…it could even be part of his sentencing order. But what makes you so sure he wouldn’t enjoy it?

      Feb 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Can we stop all the B.S.?

      If this was a straight man who had broadcast a female students naked trist all around campus, he would be on trial as a sexual predator and everybody would be talking about locking the animal away.

      Instead we have trolls on here attacking the victim. Gee, I guess you think rape victims are asking for it if they’re wearing a skirt too.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 9:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Robertson
      Mr. Robertson

      @Cam: I don’t see anywhere in here an “attack” against Clementi. And FWIW, suggesting that people you disagree with “think rape victims are asking for it if they’re wearing a skirt” (?!?!) makes you more of a “troll” than anyone else who’s posted on this article.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 9:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marcus
      Marcus

      Can’t we just deport the kid and be done with it? America’s got enough spoiled little rich shitbags who treat other people like shit for kicks, we don’t need anyone else’s.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 9:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Giovannidude
      Giovannidude

      Not only are the trolls ridiculing the victim, they are also making excuses for spoiled brats who have obviously violated state law (evidence and witness tampering, both felonies). The trolls are also making false accusations of racism, because the immature jerk happens to be from India, and therefore is immune from criticism.

      But it is undeniable and true, just as Cam pointed out, that if Ravi had webcammed a female student being intimate with her boyfriend and broadcast it on the Internet, Ravi would be called a sick and pathetic pervert and would be driven off campus immediately and placed under arrest. It would also be pointed out that he had no girlfriend himself, so what was he trying to do, get off because he’s a voyeur and a peeping Tom?

      Feb 27, 2012 at 10:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 28 · Giovannidude wrote, “But it is undeniable and true, just as Cam pointed out, that if Ravi had webcammed a female student being intimate with her boyfriend and broadcast it on the Internet,”

      Where Cam’s analogy breaks down is that Ravi didn’t broadcast anything at all, and didn’t even see anyone with so much as a shirt off. His intent is a different question – the attempt was discovered before very much had happened and pulling the plug is pretty effective in stopping something.

      “Broadcast” BTW is the wrong word – he suggested people join a video chat with him. Unless he had arranged (and paid) to use something substantial – like the servers that a porn site would use – only a few individuals at most would have been able to watch (5 to 10 or so depending on the ‘chat’ service). Check out http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1261833 for Google’s chat service – there’s a limit of 10 participants in a group video chat. The term that should be used is “multicast”.

      While it is technically possible to multicast a video stream to a large number of participants reasonably cheaply, IP multicast has not been enabled by most (if not all) ISPs, so in practice you have to use someone’s server – a desktop machine in a dorm room is not going to be able to support a lot of simultaneous connections, limited by either processing or network bandwidth.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 11:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lessthanten
      Lessthanten

      @Giovannidude: Prison rape isn’t funny, and nobody deserves it. I suggest you read some stories from prison rape survivors, and then you’ll think again before accepting it as an informal punishment for convicts. Our society needs to change their attitude on this horrifically brutal act, and you can start by changing your comments on.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 11:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Triple S
      Triple S

      Regardless of how annoying, dickheaded or obnoxious this Ravi guy may be, he DID NOT kill Tyler Clementi. I don’t want to diminish the tragedy of someone so young dying, but his reaction was extreme and unnecessary. Ravi simply created the situation, he didn’t “drive Tyler to his death” as so many want to melodramatically put it, Tyler killed himself and brought his family and friends down.

      I have so little sympathy for people who commit suicide. There’s always a solution. Clementi was NOT justified in killing himself, NO ONE is. Now you may all want to call me an insensitive prick who has a heart made of stone, but just think about what I said; suicide is killing YOURSELF, not ‘someone else that drove you to kill yourself’. Ravi should get some form of punishment for the invasion of privacy and the other charges, but Clementi selfishly (yes, selfishly) took his own life. He was not killed by Ravi and Tyler is the ONLY one to blame. It’s a hard truth, but it’s the truth nonetheless.

      Feb 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • isis
      isis

      send him back to india and sell carpets please

      Feb 28, 2012 at 1:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marcel
      Marcel

      @Triple S: You do come off as an “insensitive prick with a heart of stone,” since people can be driven to suicide through bullying. Sadly there are many cases where bullying played a role in the suicide of teens, who are disproportionately queer. I don’t get why people like to blame the victim.

      Bullying shouldn’t go unpunished, especially if it leads the victim to commit suicide. Mr Ravi might not have intended for Mr Clementi to die, but his actions were malicious, and he should bear responsibility for them. The article states that he is charged with “invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, witness tampering and hindering arrest.” And I hope they convict him.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 1:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe stratford
      Joe stratford

      he should be tried (and convicted) for invasion of privacy, evidEnce tampering and witness tampering if facts stand up the test in court.
      Let’s face it though. He did not kill Clementi. Clementi killed himself. His invasion of privacy may be a contributing factor but there has to be something else in addition to it that made Clementi kill himself. I keep on thinking “the hay that broke the camel’s back”. It’s not the hay that is the heaviest load… It’s just the last one to get piled on top. So don’t just focus on the hay and forget that it’s the heavy loads that actually role the camels back.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 1:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe stratford
      Joe stratford

      And if he gets convicted, he should serve his time and then get deported afterwards. We don’t need lawbreakers and homophobes like him in our country. We already have rough rich jerks here as it is

      Feb 28, 2012 at 1:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh, ok.
      Oh, ok.

      It’s crazy how people can call those they disagree with trolls for no reason.

      I had a similar thing happen to me in an apartment building. I never got “justice”, I had to live with it, and move on with my life. I’m not saying it’s ok, but Ravi should pay for what HE did, not for what Tyler did.

      Putting a webcam out to record someone without their knowledge is against the law and that’s what he should be paying for because that’s what he did.

      You cannot bend or manipulate the law to fit what you want. It’s wrong and immoral and a gateway to worse things. Tampering with the law has repercussions.

      No one should pay for another person taking their own life. They should pay for the crimes they’ve committed and Ravi did commit a crime which could and most likely should be considered a hate crime.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 2:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      @Triple S: “I have so little sympathy for people who commit suicide. There’s always a solution.”

      There is. However, when people feel isolated and desperate, their thinking becomes illogical and they feel it’s the only way out. I know this because I attempted suicide once. I can also tell by your response that you’ve never felt that way.

      I could say mean or harsh things about your attitude toward people who have attempted suicide and succeeded, but I’ll just say this…consider yourself lucky you’ve never walked down that road. Many of us have. Some have lived to tell about it (and realized that life is indeed worth living and does get to a better place), but others can’t speak anymore.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 7:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Throw the book at him
      Throw the book at him

      Homophobic bullying injures and kills. Rhavi should feel the full force of justice as a reminder to other would-be bullies that their actions have impacts beyond what was “intended.”

      Feb 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Giovannidude
      Giovannidude

      @Lessthanten:

      I never mentioned prison rape. You are putting words in my mouth. Someone else imagined it happening, not me.

      If you bothered to read my post, you would have known I said he would be placed in protective custody — in other words, an isolation cell.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 3:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Giovannidude
      Giovannidude

      @B:

      Thanx for the Technobabble.

      Feb 28, 2012 at 3:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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