NEW BRUNSWICK – A Middlesex County jury found former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi guilty of a bias crime and invasion of privacy for secretly using a computer camera to spy on his roommate’s meeting with another man in their dorm room.
Ravi, 20, was convicted on parts of all 15 counts against him, including four bias intimidation charges. The jury found Ravi was not guilty of the bias charges pertaining to the man that Ravi’s roommate was seen with during the spying.
The jury reached its verdict in the case following two and a half days of deliberation.
Sentencing was scheduled for May 21, and Ravi faces possible deportation to his native India.
The case received national attention and raised awareness of cyber-bullying because Ravi’s roommate Tyler Clementi committed suicide several days after learned that he had been secretly observed on a webcam set up in the dorm room that they shared. Ravi was not charged in Clementi’s death.
“This verdict is a measure of justice and sends a strong message to anyone who would engage in cyberbullying that their actions could have serious legal repercussions,” said Etzion Neuer, acting New Jersey regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. “The case highlighted the need for more education in society about the true dangers of cyberbullying.”
“The systemic problems of prejudice and bullying are best addressed through comprehensive anti-bias education – in school, at home, in religious and community settings – everywhere we educate children to be socially and emotionally productive,” Neuer said. “True justice for Tyler Clementi cannot be found in any verdict, but rather in schools and communities – when we work to ensure that no student feels socially isolated or marginalized.”
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