Posted by: Catherine Lugg | April 20, 2011

Indictment in the death of Tyler Clementi

Today, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office handed down a 15 count indictment against Dharun Ravi, a former Rutgers University student and the roommate of Tyler Clementi. In September, Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge after discovering Ravi had web-broadcasted Clementi’s sexual encounter with another man in his dorm room. According to the Newark Star Ledger:

The defendant, Dharun Ravi, 19, of Plainsboro, faces two counts each of invasion of privacy and attempted invasion of privacy, offenses that carry penalties of up to five years in prison, Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said in a statement today.

Also, Ravi was indicted on two counts of second-degree bias crimes and two counts of third-degree bias crimes. A grand jury also charged Ravi with three counts each of tampering with evidence and hindering his own apprehension, and a single count of witness tampering, the prosecutor said.

Grand jurors found Ravi attempted to mislead investigators and witnesses in various ways, Kaplan said. He said the grand jury determined Ravi deleted a post on Twitter that alerted others to view Clementi and another man during their second encounter in a university dorm room on Sept. 21, 2010.

Ravi also tried to convince witnesses not to testify against him and provided investigators with misleading information, Kaplan said.

To me, it seems as if the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is throwing the proverbial book at Ravi in the hopes of getting a plea deal. I suspect the bias charges, although the hardest to prove in court, should prod Ravi and his legal team to plead guilty at least on the witness and evidence tampering charges (which look like slam dunk chargers).

The other former Rutgers student involved with the web-casting, Molly Wie, has not been charged at this time. That said, charges may be pending.

I’m interested in what is NOT in this news story—what documents from Rutgers, if any, was the prosecutor’s office able to secure? As I observed in December, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office was forced to subpoena Rutgers University regarding all relevant e-mails concerning the death of Tyler Clementi. Hmmmmmmmm….

Stay tuned…..



  1. It seems to me Rutgers has managed to erase itself from this story about school and dormitory based bias, harassment and interpersonal violence. There aren’t emoticons to express how messed up and infuriating that is.

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