A New Jersey jury trying Dharun Ravi has returned a guilty verdict for invasion of privacy in case concerning the death of his Rutgers roommate Tyler Clementi, finding he committed a hate crime against Clementi but not Clementi's anonymous sexual partner. Ravi was charged on 15 different counts. In addition to the invasion of privacy, he was also found guilty on charges of tampering with evidence, and bias intimidation against Clementi, according to the list of verdicts posted at NJ.com. He was acquitted of bias intimidation against clementi's sexual partner, who's gone only by the initials M.B. Bias intimidation is the technical term for hate crime, which acts as an enhancement to the invasion of privacy charges. Ravi faces up to 10 years in prison and possible deportation back to his native India.
Ravi used his webcam to spy on Clementi during a sexual encounter with another man. Clementi committed suicide days after the incident. The case became a touchstone in the movement to combat gay bullying, and it's generated tons of interest in the press, unsurprising as it touches on so many hot topic issues from bullying to privacy and technology to hate crimes. Ian Parker's must-read New Yorker piece from last month detailed the relationship between the two roommates, revealing an incredibly complex story and demonstrating the difficulty of understanding just what went through either of their heads and how much the role of "bias" actually played in Ravi's actions.
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