Collecting or viewing sexual images without consent is a fourth-degree crime. Transmitting them is a third-degree crime with a maximum prison term of five years.
A Twitter account belonging to Ravi was recently deleted, but in a cached version retained through Google he sent a message on Sept. 19: “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”
Two days later, he wrote on Twitter: “Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it’s happening again.”
Clementi’s driver’s license and Rutgers ID were found in a wallet left on the bridge on Sept. 22 after two witnesses saw someone jump from it, a law enforcement official told AP. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Clementi’s body hadn’t been positively identified.
Mainardi issued a statement Sept. 29 confirming Clementi’s suicide.
“Tyler was a fine young man, and a distinguished musician,” Mainardi said. “The family is heartbroken beyond words.”
Ed Schmiedecke, the recently retired music director at Ridgewood High School, where Clementi graduated earlier this year, said Clementi was a violinist whose life revolved around music.
“He was a terrific musician, and a very promising, hardworking young man.”
On campus and off, Clementi’s story gained sympathy after word of his death spread.
More than 100 people attended a campus rally Sept. 29, with some lying on the ground and chanting things like, “If my dorm’s not safe, Rutgers isn’t safe.”
A Facebook group, In Honor of Tyler Clementi, was quickly set up and as of press time had drawn nearly 3,000 people, many of whom posted remembrances of Clementi or expressions of shock over the death of the young man pictured playing his violin.
“You will never be forgotten Tyler,” Samantha Hoffer commented. “I am so glad to have known such an amazing and talented person in my life. Rest in peace.”
Gay rights groups say Clementi’s death is the latest example of a long-standing problem: young people who kill themselves because they’re bullied about being gay—regardless of whether they are.
Last week, Dan Savage, a columnist at the Seattle weekly newspaper The Stranger, launched the It Gets Better Project, a YouTube channel where gay, lesbian, and bisexual adults share the turmoil they experienced when they were younger—and show how their lives have gotten better.
In response to Clementi’s death and others, the group Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays said it would issue a “call to action” on the topic.
New York Police Department harbor officers recovered the body of a white man, clad only in pants, wearing a watch and without identification after a parks department employee spotted a body floating in the river, police said. The body was taken to the city medical examiner’s office; authorities hoped to use the watch as identification.