After listening to arguments for weeks, the jury in the case against Dharun Ravi (also known as the Rutgers Spycam case) has reached a verdict.
According to the New York Times, the jury found him guilty of bias intimidation, invasion of privacy and tampering with evidence.
“Ravi, who faces 10 years in prison and deportation to India, was was found not guilty of some of the 15 counts of bias intimidation, attempted invasion of privacy, and attempted bias intimidation, but was found guilty of the majority of crimes.”
Essentially that means there were multiple counts (and even subcounts) of some of the charges. So, for example, Ravi was found guily on some counts of bias intimidation and not others.
The complication is merited because case is a delicate one. Last year, Ravi’s roommate, Tyler Clementi, jumped off of the George Washington Bridge and killed himself shortly after Ravi filmed him engaging in a sexual act with an older man.
The question here isn’t whether or not Clementi killed himself because Ravi filmed him. The question is whether or not Ravi filmed Clementi because he is homophobic. That is what makes him guilty of bias intimidation, the most serious offence of all his charges. It could lead to up to 10 years in prison.
The tampering charge was included because Ravi tried to change texts and tweets he sent encouraging people to watch the videos of Clemenit that he had recorded.
Mr. Ravi’s lawyers argued that he was “a kid” with little experience of homosexuality who had stumbled into a situation that scared him. M.B., who was 30 at the time, had made him nervous, the lawyers argued, so he set up his webcam to keep an eye on his belongings. Mr. Ravi, they argued, was being sarcastic when he had sent messages daring friends to connect to his webcam, or declaring that he was having a “viewing party.”
But prosecutors argued that his frequent messages mentioning Mr. Clementi’s sexuality proved that Mr. Ravi was upset about having a gay roommate from the minute he discovered it through a computer search several weeks before they arrived at Rutgers in fall 2010.
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