NEW BRUNSWICK — Two Rutgers University students have been charged with invasion of privacy for secretly placing a camera in another student’s dormitory room and transmitting a sexual encounter on the internet, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Rutgers University Police Chief Rhonda Harris announced today.
Dharun Ravi, 18, of Plainsboro and Molly W. Wei, 18, of Princeton have been charged with two counts each of invasion of privacy for allegedly using the camera to view and transmit a live image of an 18-year-old student in Piscataway on Sept. 19.
Ravi also is charged with two additional counts of invasion of privacy for allegedly attempting to use the camera to view and transmit another encounter involving the same 18-year-old student on Sept. 21.
Wei was released in her own recognizance after surrendering to Rutgers Police in New Brunswick on Sept. 27. Ravi surrendered to Rutgers police this morning and was released on $25,000 bail.
An investigation began after Rutgers police learned that the camera had been placed in the 18-year-old student’s dorm room without permission. Police subsequently filed the charges against Ravi and Wei.
Under New Jersey’s invasion-of-privacy statutes, it is a fourth degree crime to collect or view images depicting nudity or sexual contact involving another individual without that person’s consent, and it is a third degree crime to transmit or distribute such images. The penalty for conviction of a third degree offense can include a prison term of up to five years.
Authorities are asking anyone with information on this, or similar incidents, to call the Rutgers University Police Department at 1-732-932-8025, or the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-732-745-3300.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Ravi and Wei are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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