A jury found Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student charged with spying on his roommate via webcam, guilty of hate crimes today.
Following the death of Tyler Clementi, the student who jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after being viewed kissing another man on camera, Ravi was indicted on 15 counts, including several bias intimidation charges, because prosecutors felt Clementi was bullied for being gay. After 12 hours of deliveration over 2 days, the jury of 7 women and 5 men agreed, convicting him of bias, invasion of privacy, hindering apprehension and witness tampering. The latter charge came because Ravi attempted to change Twitter and text messages in which he encouraged other students to view the live broadcast of his roommate.
The jury concluded that Ravi did not intend to view his former roommate initially, but felt Clementi was later targeted because he was gay. The verdict carries a possible 5 – 10 year jail sentence. Ravi’s passport has also been surrendered and he faces possible deportation back to his native India. Sentencing is scheduled for May 21st.