It looks like someone forgot to tell us that it was Torture the Gay Kid Month, because we have yet another suicide to report. On September 19, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, a student at Rutgers, asked his roommate for a little privacy so he could be alone with a lover…
What Tyler didn’t know is that his roommate, Dharun Ravi, 18, had set up a secret video camera to record Tyler’s trysts. And it was programmed to live-stream his encounters over the internet.
Ravi went to the room of a friend, Molly Wei, to watch Tyler in action. As he would later Tweet that night: “Roommate asked
for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my
webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”
But Tyler didn’t think this was so funny. Maybe he wasn’t out of the closet yet. Maybe he was just embarrassed to have his intimate moments broadcast for the world to see. Three days later, he left a terse note on his Facebook page: “jumping off the gw bridge sorry.”
Police believe he went to the George Washington Bridge, which spans the Hudson separating New Jersey from New York, and leaped to his death. His wallet and cell phone were left on the bridge. Police have recovered an unidentified male body from the river, but they still have to conduct tests to see if it’s Tyler’s.
While they may have caused a student to commit suicide, it’s likely that Ravi and Wei will only do minimal time, if any at all. They’ve both been charged with invasion of privacy, which carries just a 5-year max in New Jersey.
See our last tale from the Bullying file: Asher Brown Suicide: Parents Say Gay 8th Grader Was Bullied to Death While School Did Nothing.