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Rutgers Students Could Face Hate Crime Charges for Streaming Sex Video Online

Two Rutgers University freshmen could face hate crime charges for secretly recording one of the student's roommates, Tyler Clementi, having sex with a man and streaming those images on the Internet. Clementi committed suicide a few days after the live video was broadcast. Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, both 18, already face charges of invasion of privacy. According to a report by CBS News, the two are charged with collecting or viewing sexual images without consent and transmitting them online via computer. 

Transmitting illegally gathered images is a third-degree crime that carries a maximum prison sentence of five years. The students could face harsher punishment if the charges are upgraded under New Jersey's hate-crimes law. First, prosecutors would have to prove that the students targeted Clementi because they were biased against people who are gay.

Prosecutors in Middlesex County, New Jersey, say that Ravi agreed to give Clementi private time in their dorm room when Clementi asked. Ravi then went into Wei's room and turned on his webcam and broadcast live images of Clementi in a sexual encounter with another man on September 19. Ravi attempted to broadcast a second encounter a couple of days later. On September 21, Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.

Ravi allegedly made remarks on his Twitter feed earlier in the new school year to the effect that he had discovered Clementi was gay.


Tyler Clementi Update: Additional Charges in Rutgers Sex Tape Possible (CBS News)

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