It's a tragic technological story heard round the world -- a college freshman's Webcam spying leading to a suicidal jump from the George Washington Bridge. Dharun Ravi, a freshman at Rutgers University, used his Macbook to stream video of his gay roommate having "a sexual encounter" in their room on September The roommate, Tyler Clementi, did not know that he was being watched or taped.
Tyler Clementi was a college student at Rutgers University who came out as gay to his religious family. But when his roommate secretly filmed him during a sexual encounter with another man and shared it on social media, the humiliation drove Tyler to suicide in Eight years later, his mother, Jane Clementitold the Today show how her faith got her through the worst event of her life.
But will Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi's suicide make any difference regarding cyber bullying? Will it change the way hate crime laws are applied to sexual orientation? October 3,
Dharun Ravi waits for a judge to explain the law to a jury before jurors begin deliberating. Friday, Ravi was convicted of using a webcam to spy on his roommate, Tyler Clementi, having an intimate encounter with another man. Days later, Clementi committed suicide. In SeptemberRutgers student Dharun Ravi used a webcam to spy on his roommate having sex with another man he didn't tape him or broadcast him; he just took a few quick peeps and tweeted about it, according to in-depth reporting by Ian Parker at The New Yorker.
That is something that fellow students Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, also both 18, forgot or ignored when they live-streamed video of Clementi hooking up in the room he shared with Ravi. Shortly afterward, Clementi leaped to his death from the George Washington Bridge. As a young person feeling out his own sexuality, Tyler Clementi was saddled with a specific burden.
Tyler, 18, committed suicide three days after his roommate, Dharun Ravi, allegedly used his webcam to watch him kissing another man and streamed it live on his Internet chat group. Molly Wei19, whose laptop Ravi allegedly used to watch the encounter, has agreed to testify against him in exchange for admission into a first-time offenders program. For their part, the Clementis hope to help prevent similar tragedies with the foundation they created, which will fund programs for gay teens, bullying and suicide prevention.
His story sparked efforts to support LGBTQ youth, raise awareness of the harassment they face, and prevent suicide among queer young people. Another result is new legislation stiffening penalties for cyber harassment. Later his parents quit their longtime evangelical church because it condemned homosexuality as a sin.
On Wednesday, police found the body of year-old Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi one week after he killed himself following his roommate posting a video online of Clementi having a sexual encounter with another man. Authorities believe that Clementi leapt from the George Washington Bridge in New York after his roommate secretly taped him and then posted the footage on the Internet. Clementi's roommate Dharan Ravi and Ravi's childhood friend Molly Wei are each facing two counts of invasion of privacy and could spend up to five years in prison if they are convicted of distributing sexual images without consent.
Eight years ago this Saturday, my son, Tyler Clementi, died by suicide after vicious cyberbullying at Rutgers University because of his sexual orientation. He was 18 years old. Study after study continues to find that LGBTQ youth are at a higher risk for suicide than their heterosexual peers. And those raised in religious communities, many of which teach that being LGBTQ is a sin, are even more likely to attempt suicide.