The trial of Rutgers Student Dharun Ravi—who stands accused of invasion of privacy, bias intimindation and other crimes leading up to the suicide of his roommate, Tyler Clementi—continued today with testimony that could punch a whole in his defense.
A police detective testified Clementi checked Ravi’s Twitter feed 38 times in 48 hours before his death, and took a screen shot of two messages posted there, reports CBS News. Also taking the stand was Gary Charydczak, who confirmed Clementi stored the Twitter messages.
In one, Ravi posted that he saw Clementi “making out with a dude.” (Clementi saved that tweet about 1am on September. 21, 2010.)
In the other, Ravi dared others to watch a webcam video Ravi allegedly made to spy on Clementi’s second tryst with M.B.
Ravi has previously tried to deny arranging for any kind of viewing party of his illicit spying on his roommate, and that the cam was there to make sure nothing was stolen.
According to CBS:
Authorities say Ravi did use his webcam to see his roommate and another man kissing on Sept. 19 and viewed it from the room across the hall from his own.
Charydczak testified that the computer of dorm resident Molly Wei had a record of a videochat Sept. 19 at about the time she said that she and Ravi briefly used it to see Clementi and the other man kissing.
Prosecutors also have been building the case that Ravi went to the rooms of dorm mates that evening to test his webcam and used Hayes’ testimony to corroborate that. He said there was a web chat between his computer and Lokesh Ojha’s at 6:58 p.m. that evening, and another with Alissa Agarwal starting 46 minutes later.
Setting aside how cruel Ravi’s actions were, it’s kind of stunning that someone who clearly had a sophisticated understanding of computers, spycams and social-networking programs didn’t think he’d be easily found out. He pretty much left an electronic breadcrumb trail for authorities to piece together what happened.
Ravi couldn’t have known Clementi was going to take his own life, but wouldn’t he have at least considered someone was going to try and turn him in? He was broadcasting his plans on Twitter, for crying out loud!
Or maybe Ravi is just the sociopath witness testimony is painting him to be.
Let the church say “Oh, snap!”.
And how much is this costing taxpayers again? I ask this as an out of the closet, suicide and gay bashing survivor. This case should have never gotten past a grand jury.
Next, they’ll be going after every single person that has ever wronged Clementi.
You are all missing the point here. Clementi had his privacy invaded on and broadcasted to anyone that wanted to watch without his permission or knowing. You’re telling me that we should just turn the other way and think something like this is okay? All of these charges are completely valid and not just there to just make headlines. If it were you that had your intimate encounter broadcasted without your permission, you would be doing the same thing trying to get justice.
Ravi obviously didn’t feel like he was doing anything wrong, so he didn’t care about leaving a trail at the time. What if Clementi hadn’t committed suicide? Would anyone have made anything of Ravi’s actions?
@Pygar: Pygar, you seem to not have learned much from your suicide and gay-bashing experiences.
I may be wrong but it seemed I heard somewhere the state involved has strong laws regarding the “spy cam”.
What if Clementi hadn’t committed suicide?
But he did, Kristopher, he did.
@Kristopher: Without Clementi’s suicide this would not have risen to a criminal matter; it would likely have remained a matter for Rutgers to deal with. But Clementi did kill himself and so it’s a big thing, deservedly.
@Joe: Why deservedly, when no proof has been show that Ravi had anything to do with the suicide?
@Eric Auerbach: Because his charges have nothing to do with whether or not he caused his suicide. Hope that clears things up for you.
Guys, claiming the video was broadcasted is an exaggeration. The chat system was
configured to accept connections. Chat services, at least the free ones, limit the
number of simultaneous viewers for performance/cost reasons. It is not broadcast, which means sending it to everyone in range, like a radio station does. It is more like an
automatic answering machine with a fixed number of incoming lines.
The bias charge is going to be a bit complicated for a jury. Some of the text messages exchanged sound bad for Ravi, but less so in context. For example read
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/06/dharun-ravi-computer-manager-to-testify_n_1323389.html which, referring to one exchange, claimed, “The exchange may help prosecutors show that Ravi had malice toward gays – a necessary element to persuade jurors to convict Ravi on the bias intimidation charges he faces. But he and his friend went on to talk about some of their gay friends.” The defense will claim that any texts that might indicate bias were simply instances of 18 year olds joking, as evidenced by all of them having gay friends.
Also, the log files the university has are incomplete. They record information useful for managing their networks but not everything. For example, according to http://www.newser.com/article/d9tb2kd01/rutgers-system-administrator-webcam-spying-suspects-computer-was-used-in-web-chats.html there was no independent record for the Sept 19 incident. Since the connection was from a nearby room, they were probably on the same subnet, and the cheapest ethernet switches, which would be used in that case, usually don’t have the ability to log anything. The prosecution is thus totally dependent on testimony from witnesses directly involved, with no ability to independently collaborate any of what they are saying. Connections to twitter, by contrast, are visible because the packets traverse more of the university’s network.
No. 7 · Macmantoo wrote, “I may be wrong but it seemed I heard somewhere the state involved has strong laws regarding the “spy cam”.”
It does regarding sexual activity. One question is whether kissing qualifies.
The point where Ravi unambiguously tried to record sexual activity was the second time he set up the cam, but the victims had caught on and apparently turned off the computer, so no spying was possible.
Ravi’s defense will probably try to raise reasonable doubt about as much of it as possible. The outcome will partially depend on whether the penalties are different for attempted spying versus actual spying, and whether he was acting out of animus or simply was not prepared for sexual activity to be going on in a shared dorm room, and how the jury sorts it all out.
The title of this post was a bit misleading. Nowhere in the post does it mention the exchange of text messages, but rather the exposition of Ravi’s tweets. As that last bit was mostly common knowledge (for anyone keeping up with the whole saga), the allusion to additional, unreported, text messages makes it seem new evidence was brought to trial rather than a rehash of what’s been covered in the press. Also, why is this considered “breaking” when these tweets have been reported in Gothamist, Towleroad, etc?
Ignorance of the law does not excuse one from the ramifications of breaking it.
@Jakey: Are you retarded? Joe wrote: “But Clementi did kill himself and so it’s a big thing, deservedly.” Hence my question.
You are one dumb cunt, I’ll give you that.
@Eric Auerbach: If you leave a shoe on the stairs and someone trips, falls and breaks their neck you are held liable for their injuries. You did not purposefully trip the person but you are responsible nonetheless.
@Eric Auerbach: LOL, do you eat out your mother with that mouth? I could have been clearer, though. Proof doesn’t matter because the criminal charges have nothing to do with the suicide. Pursuing a criminal case at all, however, almost certainly does have to do with the suicide, since the circumstantial evidence strongly (very strongly) indicates that there was a connection between Ravi’s actions and Clementi’s suicide. Whether you think that’s deserved or not, it has nothing to do with whether there is irrefutable proof of such a connection.
@Jakey: “Proof doesn’t matter because the criminal charges have nothing to do with the suicide.”
Yeah, retard. But that’s not the point I was making. Joe was saying that Ravi deserved to have his webcam spying be made a big deal of because he thinks it led to Clementi’s suicide. Get it now?
Learn to read before you shoot your mouth off, moron.
Any of you who think this isn’t a crime, I’ll be by your house to install secret webcams in all your intimate spaces.
Everyone else, tune in to Queerty during 11:00 to 2:30 PM EST! We’re in for a SHOW!
@Pygar: shut the hell up about the money. they have jury trials for pot busts and I have been a juror for domestic violence that was a total joke and no one was injured. try to focus or go back to the fox web site
“Chat services, at least the free ones, limit the
number of simultaneous viewers for performance/cost reasons”
A simple piece of freeware allows you to rebroadcast the contents of a Skype chat or iChat to as many viewers as your internet connection can handle.
Ok, ENOUGH already.
Could the weird troll defenders of Ravi please stop misstating the case here.
He is NOT being tried for Clementi’s suicide.
He was being prosecuted for simple invasion of privacy with a possible bias attachment. Where he fucked himself is that there are added charges for witness intimidation, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.
So after ten witnesses have all stated that he invited them to watch the broadcast he is toast on invasion of privacy. They have testimony from several people on the witness tampering and obstruction. He is going down, the only question is for which charges and for how long.
@Eric Auerbach: Fuck, never mind about the language, I kind of deserve it for being so hard to parse for no reason. To put it another way, “proof” and “evidence” are not synonyms. Though there is no out-and-out proof, there is strong evidence that Ravi helped Clementi along through his actions. For some people, that’s enough to make it deserved that he’s going on trial for his actions.
@Eric Auerbach: Aw. Sorry I’m not interested in calling you names back; that must be annoying. Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll run into someone who’s in just as shitty a mood and have a grand old time. Meanwhile, I’m out. Good luck!
This case is about Clementi’s invasion of privacy. The bias charge is to help prosecute and present a viable motive. All of this would happen without media attention. There is media attention because of the suicide. The novelty of the case, with the circumstances of the invasion of privacy and the technology used, also brings media attention.
punch a “whole” ?
Am I stupid, or should it be hole?
@Cam: Could not of said it better myself
@Cam: Oh thank God somebody knows how to read.
No. 22 · Heh wrote, ““Chat services, at least the free ones, limit the
number of simultaneous viewers for performance/cost reasons” A simple piece of freeware allows you to rebroadcast the contents of a Skype chat or iChat to as many viewers as your internet connection can handle.”
LOL. Do you have any concept of how much bandwidth you need for video and how much bandwidth your ISP provides for the traffic you send? Usually you get an asymmetric service with much higher downlink speeds than uplink speeds (the former being what the ISP likes to advertise).
No. 23 · Cam wrote, “So after ten witnesses have all stated that he invited them to watch the broadcast he is toast on invasion of privacy.”
Except, the computer was apparently turned off, so no privacy was invaded during the second incident – he didn’t ask people to tune in during the first incident because he
didn’t know there was something to talk about. During the first incident, they just saw a kiss (if more, nobody is talking), but because the network traffic was local, there are no log files covering that. You can’t prove that they watched for more than a few minutes, before any sexual activity beyond some kissing took place.
There was obviously intent, but to convict him of attempting to violate privacy (but failing to pull it off), the D.A. would have had to charge him with that. All the press reports seem to indicate that Ravi is charged with an actual violation, not an attempted one, but sometimes the press is a bit sparse on details.
seems to have a useful list of links. It was updated today, so chances are it is a good
link for tracking articles on the topic.
I really hope he doesnt get convicted. It doesnt seem as though he really wanted to hurt him, he was just being an ass. He doesnt deserve all of this for just acting stupidly, tyler clementi killed himself, but ravi wasnt bullying him (purposely) or anything. It might just be that they are being fueled by progay political correctness, that, because a gay man killed himself, they are just trying to find any means to punish him. Im gay, and i know that its sad what happened, but we shouldnt punish someone like this. It actually gave us another chance to talk about gay issues and help prevent it from reoccurring. Thats the best we could have asked for, and dharun seems to be scared straight now. I dont want him to start hating gays because he feels were abusing him to get our message out
I disagree with your analysis. I initially thought that the hate crime enhancement was weak, but the evidence has been stronger than I had anticipated. There is a text exchange b/t Ravi and a friend of his that is overtly hostile to gays. “Keep the gays away” is what Ravi wrote. He warns his friend that the video will get “nasty.“ His friend shares how she saw an Asian lesbian couple walking, which she thought was gross. Ravi’s response to this is to share how he saw guys kissing when he was in NY. That’s plenty of evidence of animus.
Ravi also makes it abundantly clear that he was serious in his attempt to webcast the sexual encounter. He tells his friend to tune in “for real” and boasts that others will be having a viewing party with beer and a bottle of Bacardi. Yet another friend confirmed how he helped set up the cam to focus on Clementi’s bed, giving Ravi a cheery thumbs up when the cam was properly set.
This is all damning stuff. Sure the defense will say the texting was all a joke, but so what? It isn’t credible. The wording of the text and the accompanying actions of Ravi and his friends makes clear that this was all for real. Also, Ravi’s explanation that he only peeked in on Clementi to check that his stuff wasn’t being stolen is completely at odds with all fo the later texts and tweets about the viewing party. If the defense is inconsistent, the jury is no likely to believe much of what he says, assuming he even takes the stand.
What horrifies me is that there are these other people, Alissa Agarwal, Lokesh Ohja and other would-be members of the viewing party who did nothing to stop this, who thought it was goint to be entertaining, and who have suffered no consequences. Not even a short suspension. The friend who was the counterpart to the text conversation I described above actually encouraged him. Her name is Michelle Huang and she goes to Cornell. Living the good life without a care in the world after telling Ravi “Haha, yeah do it.”
No. 33 · Steve wrote, “B: I disagree with your analysis. I initially thought that the hate crime enhancement was weak, but the evidence has been stronger than I had anticipated. There is a text exchange b/t Ravi and a friend of his that is overtly hostile to gays. “Keep the gays away” is what Ravi wrote.”
Sure, he wrote something like that but then they apparently chatted about their gay friends too. One of them claimed they were joking. Also, these are text messages. You can’t express nuances very well in 160 characters, and twitter is even worse. Apparently
a lot of those seemingly hostile statements ended up sounding a lot less hostile on cross examination when the context was explained and other messages cited. To even guess how a jury would react, you’d need not only all the messages, but the testimony of the witnesses, who might claim that some short pithy phrase was part of a running joke that sounds quite different than intended when heard out of context.
Ravi can claim (or at least try to claim) that he was really concerned about having to be out of his room a few evenings a week so his roommate could have sex with his boyfriend – the dates were Sept 19 and sept 21, so if you extrapolate from that, you’d figure on several times per week, which can be a bit awkward if you are trying to study each evening and really need access to things in your room (not just text books but a computer as well). Ravi can also claim that he was uncomfortable with the idea of his roommate having sexual encounters in a shared dorm room, particularly given that he had been living away from home for the first time and for only a few weeks, and that he was making silly and private comments as a way of easing the tension.
Keep in mind too that the jury is hearing a lot that you won’t see in the newspapers, which will just show the quotes that will get readers’ attention.
“Except, the computer was apparently turned off, so no privacy was invaded during the second incident – he didn’t ask people to tune in during the first incident because he
didn’t know there was something to talk about. During the first incident, they just saw a kiss (if more, nobody is talking), but because the network traffic was local, there are no log files covering that. You can’t prove that they watched for more than a few minutes, before any sexual activity beyond some kissing took place.”
What is odd though is that you keep focusing on the “First” incident. That isn’t the way court cases work, they are focusing on all of them.
No. 32 · Jose said…
I really hope he doesnt get convicted. It doesnt seem as though he really wanted to hurt him, he was just being an ass. He doesnt deserve all of this for just acting stupidly, tyler clementi killed himself, but ravi wasnt bullying him (purposely) or anything.
Could people actually please READ…Jose, he isn’t being tried because Clementi killed himself. He is being tried for invasion of Privacy and witness tampering/obstruction of justice.
the piece the new yorker ran a few weeks ago now, “anatomy of a suicide,” makes the case that the events are much more ambiguous, and much more complicated, than the above comments suggest, and more so than the usual media coverage suggest. though, that’s now out of date, admittedly, with the trial bringing new evidence to light, and with mr. m.b. coming forth to testify.
one of the things i came away from that article thinking, was that tyler has been randomly assigned to a roommate, all of four or five weeks earlier, at a public state university. tyler had sexiled ravi from their dormroom, without the two of them ever even having had the “look, roomie, i’m gay” conversation. i’m not defending ravi, but of all of the roommates whom rutgers could have assigned to tyler as part of that semester’s luck of the draw, it could have been a hell of a lot worse. what ravi did was wrong, but i wonder if we can also look at this from the perspective of: how NOT to relate to your straight, randomly assigned roommate.
i’ll second adam that the new yorker piece is a good basis for anyone wanting to know more about this case.
to respond to Cam:
i think most people are aware the ravi is not being _charged_ in tyler’s suicide, but i think it’s fairly clear that he is being charged with invasion of privacy and the bias charge _because_ of tyler’s suicide. do we really think there would be a national discussion and the criminal case if not for the suicide?
you guys make some pathetic arguments. probability, ignorant youth… blah. if there’s one thing that wins cases it is establishing intent. like an above commentator stated Ravi is not being tried for Clementi’s suicide but for the actions that had a heavy hand in causing it and his failure to comply with authorities
what were Ravi’s intentions by streaming live meetings between Clementi and the man he met in his room? he has already lied multiple times to authorities and tried to cover up his involvement and now his defense is trying to give some bullshit “protect my stuff” excuse
but if you want to play the hypothetical game then i’ll bite. WHAT IF Ravi had simply asked to change dorms if he was that uncomfortable with Clementi being gay? given all the research he did about Clementi before moving in together he was well aware of his sexual orientation
if anything, i hope the youth keeping up with this case come to realize that when they try to damage someone’s character it can AND WILL damage you as well
do unto others
These are not new details. Queerty should get caught up with this article: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/02/06/120206fa_fact_parker
It’s the most fascinating (and heartbreaking) piece written on the subject to date. I don’t see Ravi as being much different from a typical college student. If I was in college and my dorm mate kicked me out of the room to have sex with a stranger (gay or straight), I would have considered turning on the webcam too.
Sorry, Queerty, but this is not such a black and white issue. The guy made a foolish, immature decision. He wasn’t homophobic and he wasn’t a bully. It’s such a shame these actions had such tragic consequences.
@adam: this was Clementi’s failure to properly “relate” to his roommate?
Interesting theory. Because (according to that same New Yorker article) as soon as Ravi found out he’d be having a gay roommate, he began scouring Google, Facebook, twitter etc. for anything he could find. After which, he was so uncomfortable (or titillated), he set up webcam surveillance on his roommate’s liaisons.
Why would Clementi go directly to Ravi with his concerns? Clementi read Ravi’s tweets; he already knew Ravi was aware of much more than just his sexual orientation.
Ravi was a Peeping Tom, inviting others to giggle over watching his roommate have sex with a man. Ah, but Clementi’s at fault: for not giving Ravi enough of a chance. He should have just had a friendly face-to-face chat with his buddy.
Why not. I can’t imagine any reason he might anticipate, oh…further humiliation?
Yeah, it was pretty unreasonable of Clementi to be upset. Being a nerdy fag violin player, how could he expect not to become the Typhoid Mary of his dorm? He just needed to loosen up–join the beer-and-Barcardi party–and enjoy a good laugh (at his expense). Can’t imagine why he snubbed all those potential friends.
Is Ravi Gay? He certainly launched a full homophobic response on a roommate whom he barely knew.
No. 35 · Cam wrote, “What is odd though is that you keep focusing on the “First” incident. That isn’t the way court cases work, they are focusing on all of them.”
Not odd at all (and I wasn’t focusing on the first incident either) – it is simply that the first incident is the only one in which there was a violation of privacy due to Ravi’s computer having been turned off by the victims in the second one before an invasion of privacy could occur.
So, what you have is an invasion of privacy in the first one and a failed attempt in the second one. In the first one, however, Ravi seems to have been involved in turning on the cam once – before he knew he would be observing any sexual activity. Another person turned the cam on the second time, but there is no claim that Ravi was involved in that.
Meanwhile, the defense hasn’t even started. My guess: they’ll try to pass off the text messages and twitter tweets as attempts by Ravi to be funny, not things he really meant, and that the people reading those would understand that from context. They’ll pass off the first incident as inadvertent and the second one as something that never actually happened (they could even claim that Ravi initially was going to set up the cam and did some testing, as witnesses said, but later changed his mind – that will depend on whether there is a log or other data on his computer showing when his chat program exited.) If the data Rutgers system administrators have do not show connection attempts to the port his chat session would be using, he’ll try to use that as evidence that no attempt at an invasion of privacy was actually made.
It’s not quibbling over what happened – those details could make a difference in whether a jury convicts him or what the jury convicts him of doing.
I agree Pygar. No Kostas, Ravi is not gay or an LGBT person. Why do LGBT people want to paint people who are homophobic as “one of us”? I don’t want these people associated with us or being LGBT. I’d like to second that this is VERY OLD NEWS. I read about this awhile ago in the article linked in a comment above.
@Pygar: I, too, am a survivor of these atrocities, but, unlike you, I learned something.
@Cam: You are such a preachy, holier-than-thou mary. Between Isaac on the right and you on the left, I don’t know which bitter old queen is more annoying.
No way this guy should be on trial. In 2012, being a despicable member of the human race is not a crime. If it were, there would not be enough tax dollars to pay for all the prisons we would need (sort of like it is now). That this man is (essentially) charged with another man’s SUICIDE is just beyond the pale. We are, unfortunately, not able to look into Clementi’s mind at the time he took his life. It could have had nothing to do with the accused’s actions…or everything…or a mix. We simply don’t know. The fact that he was in such despair that he felt that this was his only option is heartbreaking. Is Ravi a scumbag? Absolutely. A criminal? I don’t think so.
@Uh …: said…
@Cam: You are such a preachy, holier-than-thou mary. Between Isaac on the right and you on the left, I don’t know which bitter old queen is more annoying.”
So lets see…I’m on the left because I pointed out that this guy is not being charged with Clementi’s suicide, but rather is being charged with invasion of privacy and obstruction of justice.
Just out of curiosity. Which part of that so offended you that you had to break out your press-ons and type an insult? Or is it, that you just felt like bitching and didn’t really have anything relevent to add?
No way this guy should be on trial. In 2012, being a despicable member of the human race is not a crime. If it were, there would not be enough tax dollars to pay for all the prisons we would need (sort of like it is now). That this man is (essentially) charged with another man’s SUICIDE is just beyond the pale.”
No, actually there have been multiple cases tried where somebody has webcammed somebody else while they are naked.
If this was the girls locker room, or some woman changing her clothes in her dorm and her roomate web cammed it out and invited her boyfriend and his fraternity buddies to watch she would be on trial.
He would have been offered an easy plea but he went out and tried to obstruct justice by tampering with evidence and witnesses. He screwed himself by doing that.
The New Yorker piece everyone read and apparently bought 100% made the case that Ravi should get off the hook because, it claimed, Ravi wasn’t a homophobe — even if some of his friends might be. Ravi was just a normal teenager, a fun-loving practical joker. It made the case that Ravi was status conscious and a snob. He was hip and cool and an IT whiz, while Tyler Clementi was an impoverished (from the eastern part of Ridgewood, the not-so-wealthy part, where you could hear the traffic from Route 17), nerdy violin player who was unhip and uncool– and also gay. The New Yorker didn’t say so, but it may as well have, that Tyler hardly fit the image of the modern American gay presented in pop culture: hip, cool, well-dressed with expensive clothes, obsessed with physical appearance, and good looking.
The unstated reason many here want Ravi to get totally off the hook and be found not guilty of every single charge filed against him by the State is that they view Tyler Clementi as the guilty party, not Ravi. Guilty of being a nerd, and guilty of playing violin in a symphony orchestra. Guilty of being from humble economic background. Guilty of being unhip and uncool. Guilty of just wanting to hook up, instead of finding true love. Guilty of being someone they would never date. This is just my opinion; you may disagree.
@Giovannidude: I do disagree, because I think basically everyone who has ever said Ravi’s gotten into more trouble than seems reasonable has also admitted that he is, according to all evidence, a ginormous dickhole.
And I also think you’re wrong if you think that in a popularity contest, any gay man, whatever his opinion of Ravi’s legal troubles, is going to side with Ravi over a gay teen who commits suicide and who was, by all accounts, a sweet young man.
There aren’t any deep, dark motives here. Some of us really do think that what Ravi did, odious though it was, did not rise above the level of a juvenile prank; and that there is a certain unfairness to the fact that he now faces the possibility of jail time and deportation all because the timing of Clementi’s suicide created pressure for a vigorous prosecution of Ravi.
@Eric Auerbach: said…
Some of us really do think that what Ravi did, odious though it was, did not rise above the level of a juvenile prank;”
I get what you’re saying, I dissagree just because I think it would not be considered a juvinille prank if a college guy filmed a freshman girl naked in her dorm, had his friends in to watch etc…tweeting out something about watching the slut get naked.
I don’t think as many people would be saying that it was just a prank. They would be all over that guy. I could be wrong, but feel pretty confident on this one that I’m not.
But the people here, many of them anyway (just count them above) are indeed siding with Ravi against a gay teen who committed suicide and was by all accounts a sweet guy. Sure, they all qualified their demands that Ravi get off scot free with the standard disclaimer that Ravi is “an immature jerk”. But isn’t that just window dressing, since it’s clearly obvious to everyone that he is an immature jerk? Boys will be boys, you know.
Some of the very same people who think the system got it wrong by charging Ravi would be the first to scream bloody murder if someone webcammed them making out with “another dude”. And did the same thing to them that Ravi did to Clementi.
There are maybe no dark meanings here, just human nature at play. We all have double standards.
Ravi was a psychological bully. He didn’t have the balls to physically bash Tyler, he was a cyber sneak who did it using stealth. It sounds to me like Ravi has sexual issues that he has not come to terms with, thus was anti-gay acting out on Tyler. Typical homophobe response. To those who call this a “juvenile prank”, I never understand how some folks think that just because a crime happens on a college campus, that it is not a crime. Date rape, gay bashing,extreme public drunkeness, invasion of privacy all get kids saying that the police should not be involved. Ridiculous.
Kostas way to be a professional victim. Just because you have the hots for Ravi doesn’t mean that he’s somehow gay and closeted or has issues with his sexuality.
Kostas makes a good point. Things that happen on any campus, not just college but even including high schools, are considered to be exempt from the state criminal statutes. Even if a crime has been committed, it’s likely to be swept under the rug, in the name of school spirity or harmony or not disrupting the students’ main mission, learning. There are all kinds of excuses to justify it, and clever administrators know every one of them. At several high schools I’m familiar with, when bomb threats were made, they would not be revealed to the public, while administrators and police secretly searched to find them. When this policy was discovered, they said that school couldn’t be evacuated because of the school bus contract.
Kostas was not the first to notice questions about Ravi. The New Yorker article noted how short he was and the fact that he had never had any girlfriends. It also pointed out that he had a way of driving girls away (such as Molly Wei) with his over-the-top bragging about how he was a big athlete and his face was on billboards all over India, two apparently false boasts.
No. 51 · Cam replying to Eric Auerbach wrote, “I get what you’re saying, I dissagree just because I think it would not be considered a juvinille prank if a college guy filmed a freshman girl naked in her dorm, had his friends in to watch etc…tweeting out something about watching the slut get naked.”
But according to witnesses (the only evidence we have) Ravi did not film anyone who was naked nor actually showed such a video to anyone. One can make a case that he tried but failed. Regarding the text messages where he “dared” people to video chat with him, if anyone took it seriously or literally as a request, then why didn’t witnesses from Rutger’s IT department detect connection requests going to Ravi’s computer? They claimed there was no traffic at all, which is unusual unless the computer is turned off. Those are the sorts of things the jury should be asking themselves, and keep in mind that the standard for conviction is supposed to be proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Once Ravi’s defense starts, his lawyer will undoubtedly bring all of that up, plus a lot more.
I’m amazed at the commenters who seem to so readily accept a gay-bashing culture. They seem to be saying, “We’ve all been gay bashed, so what’s the big deal?” So what if some sniggering Tweets are made, so what if an attempt is made to publicly humiliate you, so what if you are an object of ridicule as something “freaky” and “creepy.” It’s just part of the culture! These people, we are told, “aren’t homophobic.” They’re just “immature” (yeh, just like their parents and grandparents). They didn’t intend to hurt anybody. (Really, they thought that the victims would just have a good laugh?) There is no “deep, dark bigotry” here. Well, glib callousness can be just as damaging as “deep” bigotry. “Ewwww” as Ravi and his friends would say. And then there’s the oldest self-justifying line in the bigot’s handbook: they even said that some of their friends were gay.
Ravi’s actions were deliberate, carefully calculated, and persistent. So was his cover-up (and the “apology,” which is filled with lies, is part of the cover-up). That those actions were glib and shallow does not make them less odious. You don’t have to be a chain saw murderer to be a despicable homophobe.
Many of the comments above show that gays are their own worst enemies–that they readily echo the sentiments and play the tunes of the heterosexual establishment.
If Dharun Ravi had any sense, he should have accepted the plea bargain – which was a very fair compromise. I think he should go to jail for arrogantly refusing the plea bargain. He clearly broke enough laws, and community service and counselling was certainly called for in this situation. He had his chance at avoiding a jail term – he should have taken it. I hope the jury convicts him on at least some if not most counts. So far, all the “character” witnesses on his behalf are family friends and to me, their testimony means nothing. And all this talk of students claiming they had “gay friends” is just a sorry way of covering up their obvious homophobia. That’s so commonplace these days. Every homophobe uses that as a defense.
At first, I too thought that he didn’t deserve a jail term but after learning that he rejected a very reasonable plea bargain, I am now inclined to think otherwise.
Take him to jail already…and make him stay there…
It’s amazing that so many people, from a historically marginalized group would find this prosecution just simply because we don’t like the accused’s character. Please, find me the similar prosecution where the victim did not commit suicide (remember, everyone here has made it abundantly clear the suicide has nothing to do with his prosecution, nothing at all). I can’t think of any case like this being prosecuted so severely. My google skills must be poor. Most of the anti-Ravi screeds can’t delve into the negative adjectives quickly enough when describing their thoughts, but that’s ok, he’s a horrible person so it’s alright. That’s a terrible basis for a system of laws. If you’re going to claim this prosecution is a fair punishment for what actually happened, then confine yourself to stating what actually happened and not comparing it to other more outrageous events; the analogies seen in this thread seem to raise the level each time.
Also failing to take a plea agreement, in our justice system, is not indicative of guilt. Quite the opposite in fact. For those who wonder why Ravi did not do this, aside from any presumption on his part that he may not be guilty of violating the statutes he is charged with (the invasion of privacy statute in NJ does have specific requirements and it’s not clear that what Ravi did broke them), I believe it has been mentioned that a guilty plea would leave him open to deportation. But hey, we don’t like him any way so why not just get him out of our country, eh?
I do agree that the victim’s suicide is indeed a subliminal factor here, and I wouldn’t disagree that it is an underlying element in the passionate response of many gay people here.
But I would clarify that my own assessment of Ravi’s guilt (on at least some of the charges) stems from an assessment of his own actions: 1)Asking a friend to point the camera at the victim’s bed so he could film the second encounter 2) Boastful tweets daring people to watch the second encounter 3) Smirking about a drinking party while watching the encounter 4) Inviting friends to watch. 5) Comments like “keep the gays away”.
All of this shows both the ability and the intention to violate the victim’s privacy and to humiliate the victim in the process.
Therefore, based on what I have gathered, if I were in the jury, I would vote to convict him on at least some counts – though perhaps not all of them. (Of course, time will tell if he is actually convicted on any counts and whether he and his lawyer miscalculated).
But I think we can very safely say that had a straight roommate asked him to vacate the room for a sexual encounter with a woman, he probably wouldn’t have dared film him, or boast about broadcasting the video footage. He might not have felt very comfortable about it or liked it – but he simply wouldn’t have dared do all that he did.
This happened because the encounter involved two men. Gay sex still attracts a certain crude prurience that straight sex does not. Lets not kid ourselves or fool ourselves about that. To the extent that this case forces people to be more aware of such homophobia – then I think its a good thing.
As for being deported, I would agree that may be too harsh – and from what I have gathered, the plea bargain included some assurance from the NJ state that they would assist in helping him resist any deportation proceedings that might result. As an immigrant myself, I think deportation proceedings should not be initiated automatically in all cases. An eventual deportation might be unfortunate but doesn’t really bear on the question of whether he is guilty and should be convicted.
There is a point in time when you have to make a decision to attack the attacker. This is a good example,Tyler should have beat some ASS to protect his interest!
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