An ex-Rutgers University student whose roommate committed suicide after his sexual encounter with another man was streamed on the Internet has been indicted on 15 charges, including intimidation based on sexual orientation, a hate crime, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Charges against Dharun Ravi in Middlesex County, N.J., also included invasion of privacy and witness tampering. His roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide last September, one day after Ravi and a friend allegedly invited others to view an intimate encounter online.
Clementi's death was one in a string of teen suicides attributed to bullying, which inspired the antibullying campaign, the “It Gets Better Project.” Congress is considering the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, which would require universities getting federal funds to have a policy banning harassment based on race, sexual orientation, disability, or gender identity. Cyberbullying remains new territory when it comes to criminal prosecutions. “Although Facebook, Twitter and text message evidence is part of nearly every case, the law has not caught up with this technology,” says law Prof. Derek Witte of the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law in Michigan.