Lawyer: Rutgers Student Charged in Tyler Clementi Case Should Not Face Bias Charges
An attorney for Dharun Ravi asks the public not to rush to judgment – and expresses condolences over the death
Tyler Clementi’s Rutgers roommate, who already faces invasion of privacy charges, does not deserve additional bias charges following Clementi’s suicide, his lawyer tells PEOPLE.
“I am heartened to hear that [prosecutors] are taking their time to learn all the facts before rushing to judgment,” says Steven D. Altman of Benedict and Altman in a statement. “I can only hope that the public will do the same.”
Altman adds: “I am confident that nothing will be learned to justify, warrant or support the filing of any bias criminal complaint.”
Ravi, 18, allegedly streamed a romantic encounter involving Clementi, 18, and another man online just days before Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge. Ravi and another student, Molly Wei, also 18, have been charged with invasion of privacy in the case.
The district attorney in Middlesex County, N.J., is also considering adding bias charges, as prosecutors examine the motives behind Ravi and Wei’s alleged action.
Altman declined to elaborate further. “Unfortunately, a life has been lost,” he said. “Out of respect to Tyler Clementi’s family, this is not the time for explanations of defenses or justifications to be made public by an attorney.”