Ex-student in Rutgers webcam spying case gets 30 days

Prosecutors had asked that Ravi be sent to prison; they did not say how much time he should get.

A former Rutgers University student who used a webcam to spy on his gay roommate was sentenced Monday to 30 days in jail—just a fraction of the maximum—in a case that focused attention on anti-gay bullying, teen suicide, and hate-crime laws in the fast-changing internet age.

Dharun Ravi, 20, was also placed on three years’ probation for his part in an episode that burst onto the front pages after his roommate, Tyler Clementi, threw himself to his death off the George Washington Bridge.

“Our society has every right to expect zero tolerance for intolerance,” Judge Glenn Berman said in imposing far less than the maximum, 10 years behind bars.…Read More

Former Rutgers student convicted in webcam spying case

Prosecutors said Ravi set up a webcam in his dorm and captured his roommate, Clementi, kissing another man.

A former Rutgers University student accused of using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate’s love life was convicted of invasion of privacy and anti-gay intimidation Friday in a case that exploded into the headlines when the victim threw himself to his death off a bridge.

Dharun Ravi, 20, shook his head slightly after hearing guilty verdicts on all 15 counts against him. He left the courthouse with his father’s arm around his shoulders.

He could get up to 10 years in prison, by some estimates — and could be deported to his native India, even though he has lived legally in the U.S. since he was a little boy — for an act that cast a spotlight on teen suicide and anti-gay bullying and illustrated the internet’s potential for tormenting others.…Read More

Rutgers student who secretly videotaped roommate texted friend about ‘viewing party’

Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi killed himself just days after his encounter with another man was streamed live online, drawing attention to the issue of cyber bullying in schools and colleges nationwide.

Dharun Ravi texted a high school friend that Rutgers University students were having a “viewing party with a bottle of bacardi and beer” to watch an intimate encounter between his roommate and another man streamed online, reinforcing the prosecution’s contention that Ravi wanted to invade the privacy of Tyler Clementi and was biased against gays.

Ravi encouraged his friend Michelle Huang to take a look as well, explaining he had a webcam pointed at Clementi’s bed and “the monitor is off so he can’t see you,” she testified March 5 at Ravi’s trial.

Another text from Ravi to Huang read: “Yeah, keep the gays away.”…Read More

NJ senator calls for anti-bully law after suicide

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg said Wednesday he’ll introduce legislation requiring colleges to adopt a code of conduct that prohibits bullying and harassment following the suicide of a student whose gay sexual encounter in his dorm room was broadcast online, reports the Associated Press. Lautenberg, D–N.J., made the announcement at a town meeting on the Rutgers University campus in memory of 18–year–old freshman Tyler Clementi. Lautenberg said his bill would require colleges and universities that receive federal student aid to create policies prohibiting harassment of any student. Such policies are not currently required by federal law, he said. The bill also would provide funding for schools to establish programs to deter harassment of students…

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Do students need more online privacy education?

One privacy expert says colleges should stress internet-use policies in the aftermath of the Rutgers suicide.
One privacy expert says colleges should stress internet-use policies in the aftermath of the Rutgers suicide.

Privacy advocates say the rules regarding internet privacy and appropriate online behavior should be stressed at colleges and universities, especially among incoming freshmen, in the wake of a Rutgers University student’s suicide after a video of him having sex was posted on the web without his consent.

A lawyer for Tyler Clementi, who was a freshman at Rutgers in New Brunswick, N.J., confirmed that Clementi had jumped off the George Washington Bridge last month. Clementi’s suicide came days after the student’s private sex acts were made available in an online broadcast set up by two students—Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, both 18—who were later charged with invasion of privacy, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan.

The investigation began “after Rutgers police learned that the camera had been placed in the 18-year-old student’s dorm room without permission,” according to a Sept. 28 release from Kaplan’s office. Kaplan said Wei was released after surrendering to Rutgers University Police Sept. 27. Ravi was released on $25,000 bail.…Read More