News (USA)

Rutgers students accused of inciting fellow student’s suicide, drop out

Dharun Ravi (left) and Molly Wei

The two Rutgers University students, charged with invasion of privacy when a fellow student killed himself after his romantic encounter with another man was streamed on the Internet, have dropped out for the semester.

Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei are accused of placing a camera in Tyler Clementi’s dorm room and streaming the images of the encounter onto the internet on Sept. 19.

Shortly after the video was broadcast, Clementi committed suicide Sept. 22 by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.

According to the New York Daily News, Ravi has transferred to another school and Wei quit out of fear for her life, their lawyers said Friday.

Ravi is currently free on $25,000 bail and Wei is free on her own recognizance while prosecutors consider upgrading their charges to bias crimes because Clementi was gay.

Tyler Clementi

In their first public statements about the incident, attorney’s for Ravi and Wei now say Clementi’s encounter with another man was viewed only on a single computer — and did not show the pair having sex, according to friends and attorneys of the two freshmen charged in the case, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

“When the forensic evidence from all the seized computers is revealed, the truth will come out,” said Steve Altman, Ravi’s attorney. “Nothing was transmitted beyond one computer and what was seen was only viewed for a matter of seconds.”

Rubin Sinins, Wei’s attorney, said he was unaware of any evidence of sexual contact.

“The statute defining sexual contact refers to nudity and private parts, and, to my knowledge, nothing like that was seen.” said Sinins. “I’m also unaware of any evidence that any video was recorded, reproduced or disseminated in any way.”

Ravi of Plainsboro, N.J., and Wei of West Windsor, N.J., would have faced disciplinary action had they stayed at Rutgers. If convicted, they will face up to five years in prison.

UM student president files complaint against Asst AG seeking disbarment

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