Sex Snooping Victim at Rutgers University had asked for help before committing suicide


Originally posted on MSNBC.COM at : http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39456960/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/?gt1=43001

Posts indicate alleged sex-snooping victim e-mailed
staff for help before suicide RA ‘seemed to take it
seriously,’ forum post says; message also says student
e-mailed other university staff  Wednesday.

University President Richard McCormick said
in a statement that a candlelight vigil will be
held Sunday evening on campus for Clementi.
He also said he would meet with student
leaders of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender community.

“This tragedy and the events surrounding it
have raised critical questions about the
climate of our campuses. Students, parents,
and alumni have expressed deep concern that
our university, which prides itself on its rich
diversity, is not fully welcoming and accepting
of all students,” McCormick said.

“They have expressed to me and to other
Rutgers faculty and administrators the urgent
need for every student to be able to live and
study without fear of intimidation,
discrimination, or threats to their privacy.”

Clementi’s family issued a statement Friday
through lawyer Paul Mainardi asking for
privacy “in this painful time.”

“We understand that our family’s personal
tragedy presents important legal issues for the
country as well as for us. Regardless of legal
outcomes, our hope is that our family’s
personal tragedy will serve as a call for
compassion, empathy and human dignity,” the
statement said.
 The family said funeral services will be private.

While it’s not possible to be certain that
Clementi wrote the posts in the discussion
forum, they mirror the same timeline as the
alleged filming and reflect the anguish
someone in that situation might have felt.
Forbes.com cited a postfrom Ravi’s now-
defunct Twitter account that indicated he
learned of his roommate’s sexuality from
other JustUsBoys posts by that user, which he
linked to from the tweet.

The website Gawker first reported on the
online discussions. Under cit2mo’s name on
the JustUsBoys forum now reads the line, “In
Loving Memory.”

The user started the discussion thread on
Sept. 21 by explaining how he found out about
the alleged video streaming from checking his
roommate’s Twitter feed. The writer then
proposed ideas as to how he should handle
advertisementadvertisement  the situation and
asked for advice on what to do next.

He expressed anger with the roommate and
noted that he seemed to have had an audience
during the encounter.

‘He was spying on me’
“And so I feel like it was ‘look at what a fag my
roommate is,'” the cit2mo post said. “Other
people have commented on his profile with
things like ‘how did you manage to go back in
there? ‘are you ok?'” The user also pointed out
that people seemed to focus on his encounter,
instead of the roommate’s spying.

“…i mean come on…he was SPYING ON ME….do
they see nothing wrong with this?” the post
said.

At that point, the cit2mo message indicated
that he had decided to fill out a form
requesting a room change.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 22, cit2mo
described the situation the night before,
saying he texted his roommate to asking for
privacy in advance. He said that when he
returned to his room, he noticed the
roommate’s webcam had been turned to face
his bed and said the roommate again
promoted the “free show.” It was at that point
that cit2mo “ran to the nearest RA and set this
thing in motion.”

That day, Ravi posted to his 148 Twitter
followers, “Anyone with iChat, I dare you to
video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and
 12. Yes it’s happening again,” the New Jersey
Star-Ledger reported.

The JustUsBoys user said he simply continued
as planned, but unplugged his roommate’s
computer first. His next post indicated that
he’d also recorded images of the roommate’s
Twitter feed.

In previous posts on the same thread, cit2mo
described his research into his school’s
privacy policy, and noted it said that recording
someone in a place where they would expect
privacy could result in expulsion.

“The only things is…there are too many
‘could’s ….the fact that he didn’t ACTUALLY
record me (to my knowledge) and the fact that
the school really prolly won’t do much of
anything….”

He said he’d mention the incident to his RA
before writing, “and yah, revenge never ends
advertisementadvertisement  well for me, as much as
I would love to pour pink paint all over his
stuff…..that would just let him win…..”

Charges against roommate, friend
Ravi, of Plainsboro, and Molly W. Wei, of
Princeton, both 18, have been charged with
two counts each of invasion of privacy. Ravi
also is charged with two counts of invasion of
privacy for attempting to use the camera to
view and transmit another encounter involving
the student two days later.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan
said Thursday that his department’s
investigation was continuing and that more
charges were possible under New Jersey’s
hate-crimes law.

“We will be making every effort to assess
whether bias played a role in the incident, and,
if so, we will bring appropriate charges,” he
said in a statement.

Motive is at the core of the possible new
charges. A person can be found guilty of a bias
crime in New Jersey if the jury agrees that he
or she committed a crime because of a belief
that the victim is a member of a protected
group, such as homosexuals or a racial
minority.

Ravi’s lawyer has not responded to requests
for comment. Messages left with an attorney
believed to be representing Wei were not
returned.

High school friends of the suspects, both
 2010 graduates of West Windsor-Plainsboro
High, say the suspects have no issue with gay
people.

“He had gay friends,” Derek Yan, 16, told The
Associated Press of Ravi. Yan said that he
chatted online with his former schoolmate
about college life in recent weeks. “He said he
was lucky to have a good roommate,” Yan said.
“He said his roommate was cool.”

‘I would never expect this’
Numerous websites have popped up in
defense of the suspects, with some
proclaiming their innocence or calling their
alleged actions a prank. Other sites, however,
were dedicated to criticizing the suspects or
calling for stiffer charges, including
manslaughter.

The comments on the pages are emotional and
sometimes vitriolic. Some postings call the
suspects “sickos” and “cold-blooded killers” w
advertisementadvertisement  hile others contain homophobic and racist
content (both suspects are of Asian heritage),
even thanking the suspects for their possible
role in a gay man’s death.

Luanne Peterpaul, who has worked as a
prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer and
serves as the vice chairwoman of the gay
rights group Garden State Equality, said bias
crimes can be hard to prove.

She said prosecutors should look at evidence
including the Twitter messages Ravi may have
used to alert friends to the alleged video. She
said that there might be clues as to his intent.

Peterpaul said she believes that filming a man
and a woman engaged in sex in a dorm room
would not have had the same results.

“It’s quite possible that maybe they would
have videotaped an opposite-sex couple,” she
said. “But would there have been such a
following?”

 The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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