Dharun Ravi - whose name shall ever be dragged in mud - was arraigned on May 23. For a 19-year-old guy who, at one point, had so much to say about his gay roommate (including inviting his friends online to watch the webcast), he was uncharacteristically wordless during his court appearance.
While he has not been charged with having a direct role in Tyler's suicide, in my view, Ravi's heinous actions contributed to Tyler's death by bullying him, specifically because he was gay. If Tyler was straight, I doubt that Ravi would have set up the webcam; instead, Ravi would have happily cleared out of the room, patted Tyler on the back and high-five'd him for a job well done. But we all know what happened instead.
Even worse, Ravi is accused of trying to get a witness to not cooperate with prosecutors, erasing text messages, and replacing his Twitter messages that encouraged his cronies to watch his webcast of Tyler.
From the New York Times:
Mr. Ravi has been accused of setting up a webcam on Sept. 19, 2010, to view Mr. Clementi without his knowledge, then going to the room of Ms. Wei to turn the camera on remotely and watch. Ms. Wei and Mr. Ravi were high school friends from Plainsboro, N.J., and lived in the same dorm at Rutgers.
“Roommate asked for the room till midnight,” said a message posted that night on Twitter that the authorities attribute to Mr. Ravi. “I went into Molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.” He is accused of setting up the camera again two days later, and urging others to watch.
Posts on a gay chat site, believed to be by Mr. Clementi, show that he learned of the spying and decided to report it to a resident adviser. “I feel like it was ‘look at what a fag my roommate is,’ ” he wrote on Sept. 21, adding that Mr. Ravi’s friends seemed more upset about his having a gay roommate than about his spying.Despicable.
Regardless of the outcome of this trial, like his co-conspirator Molly Wei, this will plague Ravi for the rest of his life. Any potential employer, spouse, school, bank, or credit company is going to be able to see what he did, and it will likely (negatively) affect his prospects forever. Serves. Him. Frakkin'. Right.