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Jury finds ex-Rutgers student guilty in webcam spying case

By David Ferguson
Friday, March 16, 2012 12:58 EDT
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Screen grab of Dharun Ravi
 
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Former Rutgers student Dharun Ravi has been found guilty of a hate crime and invasion of privacy in the case stemming from the suicide of Ravi’s ex-roommate Tyler Clementi, according to The Associated Press.

In September of 2010, Ravi used a webcam to catch Clementi, his dormitory roommate, in the act of kissing another man.  He allowed others to watch, and days later attempted to repeat the spying, announcing plans for a “viewing party” to embarrass the 18-year-old gay student.

Clementi soon learned that he had been spied on and that Ravi was mocking him from his Twitter account.  Computer records show that Clementi checked Ravi’s Twitter page 38 times over the course of two days, then committed suicide, leaping to his death from New York City’s George Washington Bridge.  He left a note on his Facebook page that read, “Jumping off the gw bridge, sorry.”

Reuters reports that the jury was composed of seven women and five men who deliberated for 12 hours over the course of three days before returning the convictions.  Testimony came from 30 witnesses over 12 days.

Ravi was not charged with Clementi’s death, and according to the AP, the suicide remained “largely in the background during the trial,” although it was mentioned by witnesses and the jury were told that the he had taken his own life.

Dharun Ravi, who was born in India, could potentially face deportation and up to ten years in prison when he is sentenced.  He is 20 years old.

 

UPDATE: Watch ABC video about the verdict, below:

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
 
 
 
 
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