Rutgers Cyber-Bulling Case Reaches Verdict

March 19th, 2012 | Posted in Legislation, National Issues, Sexual Harassment by Seth Bloom | No Comments »

Dharun Ravi listens to the judge explain the law to the jury

Dharun Ravi, 20, faces up to 10 years in state prison after being found guilty of spying with a on his Rutgers University roommate, Tyler Clementi, with a webcam because he was gay.

Clementi committed suicide on September 22, 2010, by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after learning Ravi had covertly recorded him and another male student kissing. The prosecution alleged that Ravi encouraged others to watch the videos of Clementi and specifically targeted him because he was gay.

Ravi is not charged with Clementi’s death, but rather invasion of privacy, witness and evidence tampering, and bias intimidation – a hate crime in New Jersey.

Ravi’s defense alleged that his actions were simply the product of an immature first-year college student, not a malicious criminal. They also believe that the media helped influence the jury to reach a more serious verdict by presuming Ravi was guilty before the trial had even started. They are expected to file an appeal.

Regardless, this case leaves behind a legacy – setting a precedent for bullying in an age where technology like ubiquitous video recording and social media can greatly magnify the impact of people’s actions.

Do you think Ravi got what he deserved, or is the case rather an example of a statute going too far?

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