Rutgers University Student Commits Suicide After Roommate Broadcasts His Sexual Encounters W/Another Guy Using Hidden Camera [Video]


Video After The Jump

New York (CNN) -- A Rutgers University student apparently committed suicide after an internet broadcast showed him in a sexual encounter, New Jersey authorities said.

Two other Rutgers students have been charged with invasion of privacy after they allegedly placed a camera in 18-year-old Tyler Clementi's dorm room without his knowledge and then broadcast Clementi's sexual encounter, according to the Middlesex County prosecutor's office.

Dharun Ravi, 18, of Plainsboro, New Jersey, and Molly Wei, 18, of Princeton, New Jersey, are each charged with two counts of invasion of privacy for the September 19 broadcast, according to the prosecutor's office.

Dharun Ravi

Two more counts of invasion of privacy were leveled against Ravi for an attempt to videotape another encounter involving Clementi on September 21, the prosecutor's office said.

"If the charges are true, these actions gravely violate the university's standards of decency and humanity," Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick said in a statement Wednesday.

An attorney for the Ridgewood, New Jersey, family said Wednesday, "On behalf of the family of Tyler Clementi, I can confirm that Tyler committed suicide last week by jumping from the George Washington Bridge."

A status update September 22 on a Facebook page purportedly belonging to Clementi said: "jumping off the gw bridge sorry."

"The family and their representatives are cooperating fully with the ongoing criminal investigations of two Rutgers University students," attorney Paul Mainardi added.

A law enforcement source confirmed to CNN that Clementi's wallet and cell phone were found on the bridge that spans the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York.

According to the New York City Police Department, the body of an unidentified male was recovered Wednesday afternoon from the Hudson River by the police harbor unit. The medical examiner will determine the race, age and cause of death, police said.

A Twitter post on the night of the videotaping believed to have been made by Ravi read: "Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly's room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay."

It is unclear exactly how Rutgers campus police learned that a camera had been placed in Clementi's room and used to broadcast his encounter.

Both Wei and Ravi surrendered to campus police -- Wei surrendered on Monday and was released on her own recognizance; Ravi surrendered Tuesday and was released on $25,000 bail.

Ravi's attorney did not return phone calls from CNN.

According to the Middlesex County prosecutor's office, Wei apparently had not retained an attorney as of Wednesday.

If convicted, both could face up to five years in prison.

Raj Andeshna, 17, a senior at West Windsor Plainsboro High School North and a former classmate of both defendants, told CNN that the two were "terrific people."

"To know that two intelligent kids could get caught up in something like this is shocking to me," Andeshna said. "The only rationale I've been able to come up with is that they thought they were being funny -- but I really couldn't tell you.

"Without a doubt they must both be filled with regret and are distraught over what happened to Tyler, and as cliche as it sounds -- they are both good people," Andeshna said. "And they just turned 18 and they just went to college, and everyone slips up without understanding the consequences."

Molly Wei

But Parry Aftab, the founder and executive director of StopCyberBullying.org, disagreed.

"These young people had to have known the devastating effects of their actions," Aftab said. "And while they may not have foreseen death -- they had to have known how much pain that this would cause."

Police at the university, which has its main campus in New Brunswick, are investigating the case, university president McCormick said in his statement Wednesday.

"I deeply regret that today we learned from the family of one of our students that they believe their son has committed suicide. We are profoundly saddened by this report, and our hearts and prayers are with the parents, family, and friends of this young man, who had started at Rutgers this semester as a first-year student on the New Brunswick campus," McCormick said in the statement.

He added, "While there is a lot of information being communicated, we don't have all the facts in this case."


Source: CNN

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