Dharun Ravi Trial Begins, With Questions Of His Intent Toward Tyler Clementi At Fore

The jury selection in the trial of Dharun Ravi has finished, and lawyers this morning presented opening arguments in a New Brunswick, New Jersey courtroom.

The defense is painting Ravi’s spying on Tyler Clementi as an act of immature child’s play, while the prosecution seeks to show that Ravi intended criminal malice.

Clementi jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge in September 2010, three days after Ravi had tweeted that he was going to spy on Clementi’s hookup with a man with a clandestine webcam, asking friends if they wanted to join in the viewing party.

“It was not an accident, not a mistake,” prosecutor Julia McClure told the jury in her opening statement, according to the New York Times. “Those acts were meant to cross one of the most sacred boundaries of human privacy, engaging in private sexual human activity.”

She continued, saying that Ravi’s acts “were planned to expose Tyler Clementi’s sexual orientation, and they were planned to expose Tyler Clementi’s private sexual activity.”

Ravi’s lawyer, Steven D. Altman, claimed that Ravi was not anti-gay and was just making a childish blunder.

“We do stupid things, we make mistakes, especially when we’re young,” said Altman. “It doesn’t mean we’re hateful, we’re bigoted or we’re criminal,” he said. “In fact, Dharun never intimidated anyone. He never committed a crime, he never committed a hateful crime. He’s not homophobic. He’s not anti-gay.”

Crucial testimony will come later from the man Tyler Clementi was hooking up with, identified only as M.B. in court papers. Also to come is the testimony of the defense’s key wtiness Molly Wei, who made a deal and agreed to testify truthfully as long as the spying charges against her were dropped.

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  • John

    I hope they fry this bastard. How dare he turn down community service and take a chance on trial. Thats a pretty big gamble and I think its going to end poorly for him.

  • Kev C

    But to what extent was Ravi’s immature behavior motivated by his attitude towards gays? Would this have occurred if Tyler was straight and with a woman?

  • Dan

    If you read the New Yorker article with all the chat and text records, I honestly do believe this kid is simply being a douche bag, and I feel like he would’ve done it to his roommate whether he was gay or straight. He himself did not make some expressive homophobic views when he found out his roommate was gay, though his friends are horrible.

  • Kev C

    @Dan: I did read the article. Ravi’s attitude towards Tyler was condescending and classist. And he overreacted when he learned Tyler was gay with a sort of malicious glee.

  • John McLaren

    “Also to come is the testimony of the defense’s key wtiness Molly Wei, who made a deal and agreed to testify as long as the spying charges against her were dropped.”

    Just a minute – she must be a witness for the prosecution not the defence. The defence lawyer cannot grant her immunity from prosecution, only the state can do that. What kind of ‘reporters” and “editors” are factually checking this at QUEERTY and allowing this to be published? Bad research and bad reporting.

  • lucifer

    I feel this was a joke that went wrong. The guy didn’t have to kill himself, was he ashamed of who he was?

  • CBRad

    “Immature ‘thug’ “? Is that a racist shot against Indians?

  • Cam

    I think he’s going down.

    They wouldn’t have given immunity to Molly Wei unless she had something to say that would nail the other guy.

    That said, it was her computer that was used, I really think she got incredibly lucky in this because she seems to be very involved.

  • Cam

    @lucifer: said…

    “I feel this was a joke that went wrong. The guy didn’t have to kill himself, was he ashamed of who he was?”

    Gee, is the women who kills herself after she’s been raped ashamed of who she is, or responding to what was done to her?

  • Tim

    I think this whole thing is going too far. You can’t hold a person responsible for another person’s suicide. It was ultimately Clementi’s choice. Ravi could be prosecuted for wiretapping or making threats, but I feel this case is getting too much attention. Ravi has become a target for LGBT people to direct their universal frustrations with bullying. Although he’s probably a disgusting human being, he is unfairly being singled out and made an example of, in my opinion.

  • Larry

    @Cam: I think you are over the top here…yes ravi is an arrogant asshole douche who should have been grateful to accept the plea bargain and he needs to be punished…but he did not kill tyler.
    did you read the article by tyler’s gay brother??? in it he ask tyler if he wanted to find love and he replied that all he wanted to do was hook up. there is a disconnect from that and the suicide. like I said, ravi deserves punishment but tyler does not sound like he was totally inexperienced and totally fragile. not to excuse ravi…he is a shit but he is not a killer

  • Triple S

    @Cam: Yes, but rape carries a far longer consequence than simply being found kissing another man. It was tragic, I do not deny that one bit. But it was far too extreme for the circumstances. It would have blown over after a year, if not months! Rape can end up serving as a reminder forever.
    Again, this was a tragic event, and this idiot should get what’s coming to him in full, but this guy’s death wasn’t necessary and was way too extreme.

  • Dave

    Great now there are going to be even more LGBT people being racist towards Asian people and Indians.

    Larry-And just what’s wrong with hooking up or with two or more people having consensual sex? I do agree with you that Tyler isn’t “innocent” but the reasons for why he killed himself only he knows and it was his choice as all suicides are when someone decides to do it. I’m also wondering like Luci if Tyler was ashamed of being gay or GLBT? Or if he was majorly depressed and suicidal and never told anyone or got help at all?

  • Larry

    @Dave: you are kind of all over the place here. there is nothing “wrong” with wanting to hook up but it implies someone who is somewhat familiar with gay lifestyles and that seems to have a disconnect with being driven to suicide over this. please…I HATE coming off as defending ravi…he is an insensitive asshole who NEEDS to suffer some severe payment…but he did not kill tyler or even drive him to killing himself

  • shannon


  • Larry

    @shannon: are you dumb or republican?

  • Cam

    @Triple S: said…

    “@Cam: Yes, but rape carries a far longer consequence than simply being found kissing another man.”

    He outted a closeted kid to the entire campus. Perhaps you would take it a bit more seriously if it was a 19 year old girl who’s sexual encounter was broadcast over the internet.

    Please go tell any of the gay kids who were beaten, kicked out of their homes, and had to go on the street prostituting themselves that being caught “Kissing another man” has no fallout.

  • CBRad

    @Dave: In spite of the Thug Behram reference, I don’t think gays are anti-Asian or anti-Indian as one of the Rules. Actually, they don’t quite know how to categorize Indians yet. They’re darker-skinned, but they’re so elite (and elitist) and achieving. Sort of homophobic in a stuffy traditional way, but not in a ruthless violent way. High I.Q.s Love them or hate them? The gay ghetto can’t decide yet.

  • isis

    what should i say….KILL HIM!!!

  • Ivan

    @CBRad: In some Canadian cities, the main culprits in violent gay bashings have proven to be South Asian (Indian) so that group can be as anti-gay and violent as any other.

  • Cam


    If you’re going to come on here and at least pretend to be gay you may want to stop referring to gays as “They”. It kind of blows your cover.

  • Quentin

    @Dan: Maybe, but the New Yorker article looks very homophobic to me. It tries to present Ravi as a normal adjusted hetero boy, while Tyler seems to be presented as a person with questionable behaviour. His hook up with a somewhat older guy was portrayed as something sinister and intimidating to the other students, almost a justification for what Ravi did.
    My opinion on this is that Ravi was probably not homophobic himself, but he did try to mantain the image of a homophobe because of the peer pressure and his family, probably not to invoke suspicion in his own sexuality. His additional recklessness comes from his class priviledges. However, it cannot excuse any of his actions.

  • DC Dookie

    Can anyone explain to me why this childish prankster is being held accountable for someone’s suicide? It wasn’t a homicide, it wasn’t manslaughter, it wasn’t negligence—it was a prank that resulted in deadly consequences. Certainly it warrants a civil case against the man, but criminal? I agree with Tim (#10) that Ravi has become unfairly symbolic in the fight against bullying, and never would have even been reprimanded for his actions had Clementi not killed himself. Only if Ravi had known Clementi to be suicidal should he be held responsible. No one can foresee another’s mentally unstable actions.

  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    @Quentin: I find it extremely interesting and fascinating your read of the New Yorker article — I am not saying you are right or wrong, but I came to the opposite conclusion. Upon reading the article, I found that it painted a very nasty, almost priggish, portrait of Ravi: an unearned elitist parental-moneyed snob.

    Regarding Ravi’s feelings about homosexuality and having a gay roommate, all seemed very much like some straight high schooler, now attending college, and being exposed for the first time first hand with the gays. Ravi showed confusion to understanding whats what but, up to the video event, had not engaged in anti-gay or homophobic conduct against Clementi. Indeed, my take from the article, was that it was Clementi who showed a lack of regard for Ravi (not returning communications; the impersonal requests for privacy/use of room, etc.).

    I hardily agree that Ravi’s conduct was beyond just a prank.

    Perhaps my caution is based on a prank I pulled that almost resulted in horrific harm. I did not know that a roommate’s mother was a “cutter” when I sent failing grade report cards to his parents. The mother was in hysterics when she thought her son was failing. The dumb luck was I sent postcard grades for classes my roommate had not yet taken the final, and he was able to relieve his mother’s stress that is was just a prank. There were, though, several hours of anxiety for her, when she called the Head RA, her son was off to one of the finals and was unaware of the prank for hours while his mother worried (my roommate confided that twice before his mother had been hospitalized for cutting herself during his childhood).

    Certainly Ravi is fully accountable for the invasion of privacy; beyond that, it is quite obvious Clementi suffered from other circumstances that also led him to suicide.

  • Diana

    I don’t understand why this Molly b1tch got of the hook so easily.

  • donatella

    Damn, Asheville, you involved someone’s mother???

    Queers really are the real bully douche bags, aren’t they

  • Rob

    This case shows so clearly why these bias (hate crime) laws are just a terrible idea, especially for our community. Crimes ought to be crimes, regardless of intent, and if a jury or judge decides to lessen the standard punishment due to lack of malicious intent or other circumstances, that should be an option. But the standard punishment for any crime ought to be the maximum, with no such thing as aggravating circumstances. In this case, the maximum punishment for this guy should be whatever he would get if he put a webcam in the women’s showers or some similar stupid-straight-college-kid invasion of privacy — and I guarantee you that it’s not ten years in jail.

    When we go after a dumb straight kid with all our guns blazing, it just makes our movement look vindictive — almost hateful and intolerant — to the rest of society.

    Look, it’s tragic that Tyler killed himself, but my guess is that he had been considering it long before this webcam incident. (Did his mother really wear a big gold cross to court? Am I the only one who sees a big red flag there? Seriously, a gay kid is far more likely to be depressed from an intolerant family than a jerk roommate.) Depression leading to suicide is cumulative. As a gay kid in the South, I had suicidal thoughts pretty much from high school until grad school. If I had ever gone through with it, it definitely would not have been the fault of ONLY the last person who did something mean to me. But in this case, some seem to think that Tyler was totally happy and well adjusted until this one event. Based on what I’ve read, including some of his own words, I don’t think he had gotten to that level of self-worth as a gay man yet.

    We should be working as a community to foster acceptance and inclusion, so that gay kids don’t have this build up of depression that accumulates over years and finally leads to a suicide attempt. But the way to do that isn’t to unleash all our wrath on the hapless individual unlucky enough to be the last person to say or do something mean that pushes a kid over the line. I think such tactics actually make things worse for us all in the long run.

  • CBRad

    @Ivan: Some ?? How many ?

  • CBRad

    @Cam: I’m sure not going to say “we”. I’m not one of them. It took me years to conclude that, but the only things we have in common are that we desire the same sex. I don’t follow a set of Rules saying who I can hate and who I can’t.

  • Robert in NYC

    Prank or no prank, ask yourselves, how many gay students would photograph a straight student having sex and then post it online for all to see to find out if that student is really straight? Don’t be so naive, Ravi is a disgusting, arrogant shithead and should be prosecuted for whatever the court finds against him. He’s not innocent and true, he didn’t kill anyone but that video betraying Tyler’s privacy obviously had a profound effect on him. This boy wasn’t even out to his parents and from what I’ve read, his parents weren’t exactly open armed about his sexual orientation after the fact. Bullying comes in many forms, how do we know Ravi and others weren’t taunting him? This video was nothing but that, bullying.

  • CBRad

    @Robert in NYC: I thought Clementi said his mother rejected him when he told her he was gay.

  • Cam

    @DC Dookie: said…

    “Can anyone explain to me why this childish prankster is being held accountable for someone’s suicide? It wasn’t a homicide, it wasn’t manslaughter, it wasn’t negligence—it was a prank that resulted in deadly consequences.”

    “Childish Prankster”? Are you joking? If he had filmed a female student changing in her room and broadcast it over the web he would have been called a sexual predator. He not only broadcast Clementi’s encounter, but tweeted out to everybody about it, outing the kid all over campus. Oh My, what a little jokester he is, you’re right, what he did is no different than TPing somebody’s house or unscrewing the cap on the salt. (Eye Roll)

  • GOD (gay old dude)

    @Robert in NYC: You DON’T know whether or not Ravi was taunting Clementi, which is why this doesn’t qualify as anything more than an invasion of privacy.

    This case is purely political.

  • B

    In No. 23 · DC Dookie asked, “Can anyone explain to me why this childish prankster is being held accountable for someone’s suicide?” He’s not being held accountable for a suicide – he’s being charged with something else – invasion of privacy and “bias intimidation” (which makes the crime a hate crime).

    In No. 25 · Diana said, “I don’t understand why this Molly b1tch got of the hook so easily.” That one is easy. First, her involvement seems to have been minimal – she simply let Ravi use her computer. Second, claiming you are going to invade someone’s privacy is not a crime – you have to actually do it or at least try to do it. Molly Wei’s testimony is needed to show that a web cam was in fact actually used. You won’t get her to testify if that means she would be testifying against herself. Without an agreement from the prosecutor, she could refuse to testify, citing the 5th Amendment as the justification.

  • Kev C

    I think we can all agree that Dharun Ravi is a major douchebag. And that his douchiness makes him a menace to society.

  • CBRad

    @Rob: If you want to see how vicious and vengeful the gay, especially the Manhattan gay, can be, just take a look at the comments under this “report.” They even posted their facebook and myspace pages so they could threaten these girls with “hoping you get your cunts cut up by razorblades in prison” and the like. So, it turned out the girls were totally 100 percent innocent, and that the lesbian in question was their lifelong friend. Any apologies from the gay Manhattan Towleroad crowd? (From grown men spending their time sitting on their asses and threatening teenaged girls over the internet?) LOL. That’s why, when I refer to the Andrew Towle, Andrew Belonsky,Johnny Weir, David Hauslaib, Matthew Rettenmund out-of-towner gay ghetto crowd, I say “they” and not “we”.

  • Marie Cohn

    Ian Parker’s New Yorker article made it clear that nerdy Tyler got nookie (thanks to computer technology and social media), while better-looking Dharun didn’t, which enraged him.

  • Isaac C

    @Marie Cohn: LOL.

  • Rohan

    When it comes to punishment, I think Ravi does not deserve to be put behind bars for any amount of time. Gay marriage and rights, has proven to be the topic for the future. Since there is no clear jurisdiction about such topic, Ravi should be set free. This case has no basis, sure he did invade privacy, and should be punished for that. Although, Ravi has no connection what so ever with his Clementi’s death. If you commit suicide, it just shows you are a weak individual. There are other factors involved when an individual commits suicide, Ravi was only eighteen years and a distinguished student, further proving that he is no criminal, nor deserves any form of criminal punishment. Thus, it is a fair to say that Ravi is completely innocent, and setting up the camera was for his own personal security. Such case demonstrates that gay rights have to be addressed. It is a growing concern leading to homophobia and even suicide, as is the case with Clementi’s death.

  • Kev C

    @Rohan: “Ravi has no connection what so ever with his Clementi’s death.”

    Except he’d probably still be alive if Ravi didn’t try to humiliate him.

  • reason

    Ravi is an immature idiot, but that is not justification to destroy his future. He seems like a bright guy who could be a contributor in the world. The focus should be on fixing the problem, I highly doubt that Ravi is going to be out there bullying someone after this happened. Put yourself in his shoes, he likely feels horrible and blames himself. Everyone in this community knows darn well that it was not one person that drove Tyler to that bridge, it is the way our society treats “others”. Tyler went to that bridge because all of the things he has experienced in his life and the actions of Ravi were merely a reflection of what he expected from America. Everyone that is trying to scapegoat one man does us all a disservice because it lets the culture of America off the hook. It lets our neighbors, media, teachers, business-people, sports players, entertainers, and government officials off the hook. Instead of trying to tarnish Ravi, get him hurt in jail, wishing malicious things to happen to him, or using this as an excuse to demean an ethnicity, why not focus on educating the public on how their actions can impact lives. We lost one potentially brilliant citizen when Tyler stepped off that bridge, lets not lose another. We are asking the rest of our citizens to treat us fairly and to do the right thing, we shouldn’t expect any less from ourselves.

  • Kev C


    “He seems like a bright guy who could be a contributor in the world.”

    He’s already shown himself to be a menace to society. Not punishing him would be a green light for him to do more damage. Even if he does walk free, he has no career future in America and will likely become a criminal.

    “he likely feels horrible and blames himself.”

    He shows no remorse whatsoever. He laughs in court and cockily rejected a plea bargain. He has the charm of Joren Van der Sloot.

    Please spare us your speculations because they’re really bad and an insult to Tyler.

  • Cam

    @reason: said…

    “Ravi is an immature idiot, but that is not justification to destroy his future. He seems like a bright guy who could be a contributor in the world. The focus should be on fixing the problem”

    Fine, when Tyler’s family has their son back I’m sure they will consider the problem fixed.

  • Cam


    Yeah Yeah Yeah, you never miss an opportunity to come on here and attack gays. We get it, we’ve heard it from you over and over that you have nothing in common other than liking your same sex with “The Gays”.

    But guess what, to people like Rick Santorum you are just as disgusting and inhuman as the rest of “The Gays”

  • Tipper

    Dharun Ravi should get the same fate as Tyler. If that’s not possible under the law, he should get at least 15 years, no parole.

  • CBRad

    @Cam: LOL. Probably. I’m probably just as disgusting to those who bashed the dude in Atlanta. And, to some people, I’m probably as disgusting as serial killers. But that’s their problem. It’s not going to make me feel allied with serial killers.

  • CBRad

    @Cam: Who? The mother who rejected Clementi when she learned he was gay?

  • Cam

    @CBRad: said…

    “@Cam: LOL. Probably. I’m probably just as disgusting to those who bashed the dude in Atlanta. And, to some people, I’m probably as disgusting as serial killers. But that’s their problem. It’s not going to make me feel allied with serial killers.”

    So you feel that your average gay is a serial killer? Or is it just that you hate yourself so much that you have to paint gays in your mind as awful disgusting human beings so you can some how, carve out a space foryourself in your mind where you can sit back and say “But I’m not like that, I’m better!”

    I just think it’s weird that you feel that all gays are the same. You sound like one of those Ex Gays who goes on TV and tries to claim that all gays are meth using burnouts.

  • declanto

    Sorry, GOD, didn’t mean to imply the article is part of the evidence, but thatthe bullying is there, documented, confirmed by witnesses.

  • GOD (gay old dude)

    @declanto: I appreciate the info, but I still believe there’s an absolute difference between “hate” and “harassment,” and Ravi didn’t demonstrate any hate, per se, only the actions of an immature boy, which is more indicative of harassment. I don’t defend his behavior, but nor do I think he should go to jail because someone else committed suicide. Unless that was his intent, he’s not guilty.

  • David Ehrenstein

    @Rob: “Crimes ought to be crimes, regardless of intent>’

    So there should be no distinction between premeditated murder and manslaughter?

    That won’t fly.

    He’s not charged with “murdering” Tyler Clementi. He’s charged with invasion of privacy and “bais intimidation.” The biggest charage aginst Ravi is “bias intimidation” — which should be easily proved without going into any ‘hate crimes” rigamarole. He launched this hightech jihaad against him because he was gay.

    How this is oing to play to the jury is anyone’s guess. But even if he the jury says “not guilty” he’s going to have this following him for the rest of his miserable life.

  • reason

    @Kev C: Very few people would take a plea bargain and have their life destroyed if they have a good opportunity to walk. As sorry as I am for Tyler’s family, in regards to post 44, that is not going to happen. Ravi had no intent for Tyler to jump off the bridge, and there is not a shred of evidence suggesting so. We just had one tragic incident, there is no reason to try to create another. If Ravi can avoid a criminal record he can get his life back on track and do everything in his power to contribute to society, so at the very least something positive can comes from Tyler’s death. The lack of humanity that permeates through society is the reason for Tyler’s death and many on this blog exhibit the same characteristics, therefore you all are not blameless in the ills of society that drive people like Tyler to that point.

  • Giovannidude

    The most shocking thing about the case against Dharun Ravi is the generous plea bargain the prosecutors handed him, and his arrogant refusal to accept the gift.

    It sort of clinches the impression of Ravi, also given in the New Yorker article, that he is an arrogant spoiled brat obsessed more with socio-economic status than homophobia. He personally may not be a homophobe, but his friends sure sound like it, and using the webcam to expose his roommate having sex “with another dude” played right into the ridicule.

    Ravi didn’t cause the death of Tyler Clementi. Not directly anyway. Indirectly, maybe. And it looks like there is a cyberspace paper trail a mile long to back up some of the charges.

    Ravi should have taken the plea deal and skated.

  • Mr. Robertson

    @Giovannidude: If you read the New Yorker piece, then you know that taking the plea deal, or being found guilty, would make him liable to deportation.

    And I, for one, hope he’s found innocent. He’s clearly an immature jerk, but he doesn’t deserve to have his life destroyed for it.

  • B

    No. 55 · Giovannidude wrote, “And it looks like there is a cyberspace paper trail a mile long to back up some of the charges.”

    That’s not clear. He apparently asked people to set up a video chat, but they’ll have to prove that it was configured to show his web cam and not something else. If he set up the configuration manually and never saved it to a file, then you can’t really prove what he was going to show, and nothing actually was shown because Clementi apparently noticed the cam in advance and shut it off. If there is a log file entry indicating a chat setup earlier in the day, the D.A. would have to show that Clementi terminated the session, not Ravi, but if Clementi just pulled the plug, Ravi’s computer would not have notified a server that the chat session was being terminated – instead it would end due to a timeout.

    He can claim that his message daring people to chat with him was meant as a joke that nobody would take seriously. If the servers have log files and nobody even tried to log in, then he can use that as an argument in his favor.

    It’ll be a question of what level of credibility the jury gives to witnesses and the evidence, plus a guess as to the motivation of an immature jerk.

    Keep in mind that critical evidence – log files, IP addresses, etc. – have not been made public at this point, or at least not reported in the media. Without that information, a guess as to the outcome could easily be wrong.

  • Giovannidude

    What will be hard for Ravi’s defense to explain boils down to one very simple question:

    If this arrogant spoiled brat — who everyone seems to agree is an immature douchebag — is so innocent, then why did he have to engage in evidence tampering and witness tampering?

  • Kev C

    @reason: Looking at the prosecuters case, it’s solid and professional. Most of the charges should be easy to prove. And yet Dharun thinks he can beat them. I’d call that cocky. The challenge for prosecuters are the bias charges. But I have a feeling, based on their level of professionalism, that they know what they are doing. The only way Ravi can beat the charges is if they have an incompetent or homophobic jury. You need to realize that Dharun is almost certain to go to jail. You need to realize that he’s not getting a high paying job with his notoriety and record. Companies won’t hire you if your shirt is dirty, much less if your record is dirty.

  • isis

    why not have thise man killed what community service is he good at….MAKING CURRIES AND HAVING SMELLY PITS

  • isis

    why not have thise man killed what community service is he good at….MAKING CURRIES AND HAVING SMELLY PITS @reason: really…..get the son back alive well and healthy then problem solved

  • Giovannidude


    Everyone agrees Ravi is an immature jerk. As for Ravi having a bright future ahead of him, a bright future in just what? Being a peeping Tom?

    The only one who had an obvious bright future ahead of him was the victim, Tyler Clementi. His bright future was in music as a violinist. Only an undergraduate and a freshman at that, he had already been playing with the Rutgers Symphony.

  • B

    No. 58 · Giovannidude wrote, “If this arrogant spoiled brat — who everyone seems to agree is an immature douchebag — is so innocent, then why did he have to engage in evidence tampering and witness tampering?”

    My guess is that the evidence-tampering charges are weak. Deleting a post on twitter has no effect on what is archived on backup tapes, which is where the real evidence is. Ravi will probably claim he was simply updating his twitter posts in light of a tragic event. If (as a different example) you posted a comment that some guy you knew was an asshole, and that guy suddenly died, you might deleted that comment if possible on the grounds that it is rude to make such comments about someone who recently died. He’ll claim that was all he was doing – either to be polite or respectful, or to at least not seem to be as crass as he no doubt is.

    The witness tampering charge sounds weak too. You can read the N.J. statute at and the definition of witness tampering requires “knowingly [engaging] in conduct which a reasonable person would believe would cause a witness or informant to [mislead the authorities]”. His attorney will probably argue in effect that Ravi was not witness tampering, but simply whining because he was scared and embarrassed (which dovetails into the argument that Ravi was simply an immature jerk). That is, unless Ravi tried to bribe them or threaten them in some way. The defense could ask the jurors, “if someone told you what Ravi told these witnesses, would you risk a perjury or obstruction of justice charge for his sake? If not, he is not guilty of witness tampering.”

    It is supposed to be a common practice for prosecutors to pile on dubious charges as bargaining chips – things that the prosecutor doesn’t mind dropping to get a guilty plea on substantial charges. That could be what is happening here.

  • unreligious

    This case has so many layers that it will be difficult for the jury to sort it all out. You had two mismatched roommates, who were culturally light years apart and had little understanding of each other. You had a boy who was suffering from the rejection of his mother, after coming out to his parents (no matter how his, oh so pious mother, likes to portray herself as being loving, Tyler’s comments show he was not seeing that love). You have questions regarding the non-student sex partner and his relationship to Tyler. You have the spying and outing of Tyler (although one can question just how great this outing was, how many people actually read Ravi’s posts or really even know who the roommate was). Did this contribute to the suicide, probably yes but was it the main reason for it, probably not. In any case he is not being charged with the suicide just the spying. Was Ravi this homophobic, bully who was trying to destroy Tyler’s life, doubtful. More likely just a kid who did not think about the consequences of a poorly thought out action. At this point no matter what the jury decides, he has pretty much ruined his life. He will have to live with the consequences of his actions for a long time to come. His notoriety will proceed him for a long time, making work difficult to find (assuming his parents will even be able to afford to send him back to school after paying his considerable legal fees).

  • CBRad

    @Cam: Shows how there’s something morally….incorrect…about the gay ghetto. Not once did you say “Maybe those guys shouldn’t have threatened those girls with torture and death and shouldn’t try releasing peoples’ home addresses on the internet.” All you’re doing is yelling at me for pointing it out.

  • Steve-O

    My view is that Dhuran and Wei set out to do what they saw was a funny prank, with absolutely no thought about how it might hurt Tyler, like any other prank that people play ‘its all fun and games’….until its not.

    Regardless of their intentions or motivations it resulted in lethal consequences and they need to accept responsibility, again regardless of what they did or did not intend to happen, and then repay not just their debt to society, but their debt to Tyler.

    Wei has taken a deal, which i hope means she has accept some responsibility, even if it just to turn evidence against Dhuran.

    As for Dhuran, his actions to refuse community services coupled with what has been described as an ‘snobby elitist’ background would suggest that he feels that what Tyler did is not his fault (or internally accepts is and is just rolling the dice to get off). And this attitude is wrong. Yes Tyler took his own life and Dhuran didn’t actually push him off the bridge, but what he did was inflect so much pain, embarrassment onto Tyler that in his grief and dispair Tyler couldn’t think and led him to kill himself.

    I hope we get to see more insight into what is going on in Dhuran’s mind and I hope he get everything that is coming to him and that he deserves it.

  • cwm

    @Marie Cohn: your comment raises an issue I’ve not yet encountered, despite reading the long New Yorker article and plenty of other sources. that being envy

    obviously we don’t have all the facts. but I think you might be onto something.

    my freshman year in college I was paired with a straight guy who thought of himself as a hot stud (fashioned himself after Jim Morrison), but was ashamed to have to be the roommate of a gay man. especially ’cause a pencil-necked geek like me was sharing my bed the first week, while he (a bodybuilder) didn’t get a girlfriend until his second year.

    Ravi was well acquainted with the ‘net, and spent an unusually long time searching for info on Clementi. even if his comments were primarily about social/economic class, I doubt he’d have been so curious–to the point of playing amateur private detective–if he hadn’t been upset to learn he was gonna have a queer roomie.

    everyone’s trying to divine Ravi’s state-of-mind based only on things he said. aren’t his actions equally, if not more important? the very fact he placed the camera–and invited people to join him in spying–suggests both prurient curiosity, and a nasty Peeping Tom motivation.

    yeah it was “childish,” which excuses nothing. the prosecution keeps using that word–to emphasize Ravi’s relatively-young age–hoping it’ll garner sympathy. but Ravi was a legal adult at the time.

  • Daniel

    Is there any live web video of the trial, anyone know who is showing the live stream?

  • Pepper

    This is compltete BS case by prosection put up lynch mob mentanlity. Dhuran Ravi is being crucified by lynch mob!! Let all wake up America Dhuran Ravi is being scapegoated by Gay Agenda USA !!

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