Dharun Ravi’s defense to the invasion of privacy and bias intimidation charges he faces in the Rutgers webcam trial was that he was merely playing a childish prank and lacked the motivation to commit a hate crime.
As you probably know, last year, Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi was secretly taped having a romantic encounter with another man in his dorm room. Clementi’s roommate Dharun Ravi webcammed the two and when Clementi found out, it’s believed that he was driven to suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.
Ravi says he was just kidding around, but his former friend and cohort Molly Wei testified that Ravi in fact planned to throw a "viewing party" where he would presumably out Clementi in front of a group of people, reports the New York Post. Wei said that Ravi went so far as to Tweet about the viewing party.
In her testimony, Wei says that she and Ravi first witnessed one of Clementi's gay encounters by accident and planned to keep it a secret. But they soon not only told other people about it, but also planned to share the video.
The allegation that the taping of the incident was not merely an accident, as it happened twice, plus the claims that Ravi planned to throw a viewing party, for apparently no other purpose than to humiliate his roommate, do not bode well for Ravi's defense.
A practical joke is one thing, but based on Molly Wei's testimony in the Rutgers webcam trial, it appears that Dharun Ravi had far darker motives.
- Find a Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw)
- Molly Wei testifies she was 'sad, overwhelmed' when she learned Tyler Clementi was feared dead (New York Daily News)
- Invasion of Privacy (FindLaw)