Bias Intimidation Verdict in NJ Webcam Suicide Case


Dharun Ravi was found guilty in New Jersey of bias intimidation by using a webcam to spy remotely on an intimate tryst between Rutgers University roommate Tyler Clementi and an older man, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. The crime is a second-degree felony indicating he targeted Clementi because he was gay and knew his actions would hurt him. Ravi was convicted of three other crimes as well.

Three days after that encounter in 2010, the distraught teen leaped to his death from the George Washington Bridge. It was a precedent-setting verdict that legal experts and advocates say draws a firm line against bullying and harassment in a wired world. “This verdict, combined with New Jersey's new anti-bullying law, sends a powerful signal across the state and, frankly, across the country that the days of a kids-will-be-kids defense to brutal bullying are now over, and thank God for that,” said Steven Goldstein of the advocacy group Garden State Equality.

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