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New Jersey grand jury indicts man accused of harassing Rutgers roommate

The former roommate of a Rutgers University freshman who committed suicide last fall has been indicted by a grand jury in New Jersey on charges related to invasion of privacy and hate crimes. The grand jury indicted the 19-year-old on 15 counts including bias intimidation, invasion of privacy, tampering with physical evidence, witness tampering, and hindering apprehension or prosecution. According to CNN, the invasion of privacy charges have enhancements to them that make them second- and third-degree class felonies.

Prosecutors accuse the former roommate of secretly videotaping Tyler Clementi in a sexual encounter with another man and streaming this video on the Internet. The roommate had hidden a camera in the room and accessed it remotely to watch and broadcast the encounter. The former roommate also allegedly used Twitter to gather people to watch the live video. Prosecutors say the young man's use of technology and the Internet to broadcast his roommate's sexual encounter amount to bias intimidation and invasion of privacy.   

In addition, prosecutors accuse the man of trying to cover up evidence of his alleged crimes in order to hinder his apprehension and prosecution. Prosecutors accuse him of deleting a Twitter message that announced the upcoming video. He also allegedly replaced the original message on Twitter with a false Tweet. 

Clementi committed suicide by jumping from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River. His body was recovered from the river more than a week after he jumped last September.

The case has spurred Democratic New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg to introduce new federal anti-harassment legislation. The "Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act" would require schools that accept federal student aid to prohibit harassment of students.  

Source:

Roommate indicted in Rutgers University suicide case (CNN Justice)

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