Karen Ocamb

Rutgers Spycam Suicide-Cyberbullying Case Goes to Trial

Filed By Karen Ocamb | February 26, 2012 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: cyberbullying, Dharun Ravi, New Brunswick, New Jersey, Rutgers University, Tyler Clementi

Rutgers student Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge in September 2010 after allegedly being spied on and humiliated by his roommate, Dharun Ravi (Photo screencapture from InSession)

Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi went on trial in New Brunswick, New Jersey Friday in the cyberbullying case that may have lead to the suicide of Ravi's gay roommate, Tyler Clementi. The 18 year old jumped off the George Washington Bridge in September 2010 after Ravi allegedly used a webcam to spy on him during an intimate encounter. Prosecutor Julia McClure said Ravi's actions were "purposeful, they were mean-spirited … malicious, and they were criminal" and intended to humiliate Clementi, the LA Times reported. But Clemente's suicide will not be an element of the trial. Ravi is charged with invasion of privacy, hindering apprehension, tampering with a witness and evidence and two counts of bias intimidation that could result in penalties up to 10 years in prison. Ravi’s defense lawyer, Steven Altman, told jurors: “Nobody ever broadcast anything. Nobody transmitted anything. Nobody recorded anything. Nobody reproduced any image of anything....Nothing.”

Since the trial will focus more on Ravi than Clementi - let's add a little perspective. Imagine the pain of a humiliated, newly out gay 18 year old standing on the edge of the George Washington Bride as business goes on as usual.

The George Washington Bridge between New York and New Jersey

Ironically, The Advocate reports that:

The Weinstein Company has lost an appeal to have the rating of its documentary Bully, a harrowing examination of the bullying epidemic in America, changed to PG-13 from R, which will prevent it from reaching its targeted adolescent audience.

The documentary, which will be released March 9 and follows five bullied kids during the school year, received the R rating due to language used by children in the film.

TruTV's InSession is broadcasting the trial live and has discussion and a re-cap on their Facebook page.

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