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The Rutgers Webcam Gay Spy Trial

Updated on March 9, 2012
Dahrun Ravi, a victim of revengeful prosecution
Dahrun Ravi, a victim of revengeful prosecution

This is a trial that should not be happening. Why?

When Dahrun Ravi, the young Rutgers University student and roommate of Tyler Clementi put a webcam in the room to spy on his gay roommate, he did not possess any intent to cause harm. He probably really did not think much about it except as a cruel joke to expose (maybe) something that might go on between Tyler and his lover friend. I do not think that any reasonable person, gay or not, could have predicted what Tyler might do when exposed. What he did was choose to kill himself out of shame and embarrassment to family and friends.

Dahrun is not responsible for what happened. He was not the trigger. What if Tyler decided to seek revenge and pay back, maybe with a gun, maybe a knife, or whatever. It would not be self-defense, but Tyler then would be on trial. Tyler obviously had insecure and negative feelings about being gay for so many years. Always trying to pretend he was straight around other dudes, family, girls for much of his life. It was a heavy burden and then then when Dahrun revealed a private moment via a webcam to a small group of friends between Tyler and his lover, as the old saying goes, "it was the straw that broke the camel's back". He probably was totally freaked about it, how to handle it, what would those who did not know say and on and on. He was not a stalwart personality like some gays are-those that defy the straights about their sexuality, he was meek. It was too much for him and he took death instead of simply dealing with it.

Had Tyler dealt with it, it would have made him stronger because it would not be the only time in his life that he would face anti-gay sentiments whether is was at work, from family relatives, or other gays. Anti-gay laws do nothing to prevent it on a daily basis, what people say or how they look at you. That is life. It is no different if he was not gay and had the same low self-esteem and was bullied. Even if Dahrun did express dislike of his gay roommate, this does not reach the level of premeditated murder or even a reckless wanton disregard for either murder or lesser charges. People may or may not like gays, it is their right and choice. The trial should be tossed out as baseless.

Putting Dahrun in prison will not correct anything. If Dahrun does not like gays, you cannot force him to like them. Period. Prison would only subject him to hardened criminals that prey on young innocent inmates in the worse way-rape and beatings. Is this the justice Tyler's attorney's seek? Nothing will ever bring Tyler back, but ruining another young life is murder also. He faces 15 counts of invasion of privacy, witness tampering, hindering prosecution, and bias intimidation, a hate crime that could draw a 10-year sentence. If anything, the DA is biased because Tyler was gay and they wish to make a point about it.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      As far as I know, Ravi was not anti-gay and as roommates they were fine. That said. no one will ever know how he really felt. There is simply no way Ravi could have foreseen Tyler committing suicide nor did he premeditate the killing. Tyler was afraid of his sexuality, so much, that when exposed, did a stupid thing. He was afraid of bullying, peer comments etc.

    • FGual profile image

      FGual 5 years ago from USA

      Great Hub full of controversy. More yet to uncover. We know Clementi was a meek tormented by his secret sex life, but we know nothing of Ravi's backstory and how the two related. How long were they roommates, and did they get along well before this? Could Ravi be another similar meek with a secret past? Perhaps a crush on Clementi that was rebuffed was the motivation.

      Glaring suspect omission, if Ravi was uncomfy with Tyler's lifestyle, did he request a change?

      This is a sad and difficult case, but murderer not.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      It is fine to agree to disagree. Tyler was meek and so afraid of exposure, something Ravi would not know. Not everyone would kill themselves over such a prank. We'll just have to see where it ends.

    • American View profile image

      American View 5 years ago from Plano, Texas


      This never happens, but sorry Buddy I have to disagree with you on this.

      The law is quite clear on illegal surveillance. Invasion of privacy is quite serious on its own, but then he proceeded to put not only twitter the incident, he posted without permission the sexual encounter on the internet which is also a crime.

      The witness and evidence tampering charge are based upon text messages Ravi sent to Wei, trying to get her not to contradict what he had told police.

      As to the Bias crime, that may be tougher to prove. He may not hate gay people, but the did do this to a gay person. If he does not have a history of hurting gays in the past this charge may not go anywhere.

      But a death happened as a direct result of his actions, it may have been just a joke, but it went horribly wrong.

      There needs to be accountability for his actions. I also agree sending him to jail will not bring the victim back. I believe he should be convicted, given 5 years house arrest, 1,000 hours of community service geared toward gay issues.