Everyone remembers the tragic case of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who killed himself in October 2010. He jumped from the George Washington bridge after his roommate, Dharun Ravi, set up a webcam to spy on Clementi while he was having a sexual encounter with another man. Ravi then sent links and text messages to friends, encouraging them to tune into the live stream from his webcam.
Today, Ravi was found guilty in his trial. He has now been convicted of hate crimes and tampering with evidence and witnesses. The jury ruled that Clementi had reason to believe that he had been targeted because he was gay, making Ravi guilty of bias intimidation, which is a hate crime. Ravi was found guilty of tampering with evidence and witnesses after attempting to hide and delete messages he had sent to friends regarding Clementi. Before the trial began, there was debate about whether or not Ravi should have been charged with a hate crime.
The judge has set a sentencing date of May 21. Ravi’s lawyers have six weeks to appeal the decision, if they choose to do so. He may face deportation to India.
What do you think of the verdict? What punishment is appropriate for Ravi?