Trial begins in case of gay Rutgers student who committed suicide

Wed. February 22, 2012 10:24 AM by News Staff

Rutgers student Dharun Ravi, 19, goes on trial this week for invading the privacy of his gay roommate, Tyler Clementi, who eventually committed suicide.

Ravi is facing 15 charges including bias intimidation, invasion of privacy and tampering with evidence. Prosecutors said he used a webcam to spy on Clementi while he was making out with another man, and then asked people over Twitter to watch Clementi in a private situation.

Clementi, who was a gifted violinist and a freshman, committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge in September 2010.

Before he jumped, Clementi had complained to a resident advisor about Ravi and said he wanted to switch roommates. Ravi had been critical of Clementi even before they had arrived at Rutgers, saying he seemed poor, inept and gay.

A Rutgers student who watched the webcam with Ravi, Molly Wei, cut a deal with prosecutors in exchange for her testimony.

On Wednesday morning, the judge was going through the final cut of jurors and had warned prosecutors and defense attorneys to have their opening statements ready.