More than a year after the tragic suicide of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi, a New Brunswick, N.J., jury has found his roommate Dharun Ravi guilty of invasion of privacy and four charges of bias intimidation. He also faces possible deportation to India.
Jurors also found him guilty on Friday of tampering with physical evidence, tampering with a witness and hindering apprehension.
Ravi, 20, faced a 15-count indictment, and he sat emotionless as Judge Berman read the jury’s mixed verdict. After the verdict was read, Clementi’s father, Joe, sat with his left arm around his wife and was wiping away tears with a tissue.
Ravi will be sentenced on May 21, and he can remain free until then, though beginning March 30, he must check in with the court every two weeks until his next court date.
“The trial was painful for us as it would be for any parent to hear about inappropriate things done to our child,” Joe Clementi told reporters after the verdict was read. “We were here every day because we wanted to be here for our son.”
On Sept. 20, 2010, Ravi set up a live webcam in their dorm room and filmed Clementi kissing another man. Ravi, 20, later Tweeted about what he’d seen and invited others to watch Clementi with the man, whose name has not been revealed.
Clementi, 18, jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 22, after leaving a note on Facebook that read, “Jumping off the gw bridge. Sorry.”
Prosecutors say Ravi was motivated by a hatred of gays when he spied on Clementi.
Molly Wei, another student who was with Ravi while spying on Clementi and whose laptop was used to watch the intimate encounter, got leniency for her participation in the events. She had to perform 300 hours of community service, undergo counseling or training in cyberbullying and alternative lifestyles and work full time.
Clementi’s suicide became a national issue and caused many to speak out for human rights, including Ellen DeGeneres. It also helped inspire the “It Gets Better” Campaign, aimed at ending teen bullying and preventing suicide among LGBT youth.