Authorities on Wednesday announced a grand jury has approved bias charges against one of the former Rutgers University students accused of webcam-spying on two fellow male students engaged in a intimate encounter and which may have resulted in the suicide death of one of the participants, Tyler Clementi.
New Jersey Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan said that a grand jury indicted Dharun Ravi, 19, on invasion of privacy and bias charges in a 15-count indictment. The victim in the case, which received national attention and helped heighten awareness of the dangers in bullying, was Ravi’s roommate, Tyler Clementi, a violinist in his first freshman weeks at the school.
The grand jury also charged Ravi with three counts of evidence tampering and one count of witness tampering, in that, according to prosecutors, he “attempted to mislead investigators and witnesses in various ways” during the investigation.
It is also alleged that Ravi attempted to convince witnesses not to testify against him.
According to the prosecutor’s office, “It also has been determined that charges previously filed against a co-defendant, Molly W. Wei[, 19] would not be presented to the grand jury at this time.”
Wei, say prosecutors, “is charged with two counts of invasion of privacy arising from the September 19, 2010, incident. The charges are pending and the case against her remains active.”
Following the announcement of the additional charges against Ravi, Tyler’s parents, Jan and Joe Clementi, released a statement through their attorney, Paul Mainardi. “The grand jury indictment spells out cold and calculated acts against our son, Tyler, by his college roommate,” they said.
“If these facts are true, as they appear to be, then it is important for our justice system to establish clear accountability under the law. We are eager to have the process move forward for justice in this case and to reinforce the standards of acceptable conduct in our society.”
Attorneys for Ravi and Wei could not immediately be reached for comment.