NEW BRUNSWICK - A grand jury charged a former Rutgers University student yesterday with bias intimidation for allegedly using a webcam to spy on his male roommate's intimate encounter with a man.
A grand jury in Middlesex County handed down a 15-count indictment against Dharun Ravi, of Plainsboro.
The indictment charges Ravi with bias, invasion of privacy, witness and evidence tampering and other charges stemming from the suicide of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi in September. Ravi was already facing invasion of privacy charges.
Clementi's parents issued a statement through their attorney yesterday saying, "The grand jury indictment spells out cold and calculated acts against our son Tyler by his former college roommate, if these facts are true as they appear to be, then it is important for our criminal justice system to establish clear accountability under law."
News 12 New Jersey spoke with several students on the Rutgers campus who say they hope the charges send a clear message about bias intimidation. "I agree with the indictments at that point because it wasn't done for any other reason," said Rutgers student Otto Weiler.
Lawyers for Ravi say the webcam stream was viewed only on a single computer and did not show the men having sex.
Ravi has since withdrawn from Rutgers. Clementi's suicide brought national attention to suicide among gay and lesbian youths.
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