The Webcam Spying Verdict Aftermath

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Managing editor of New Jersey Public Radio, Nancy Solomon, discusses the sentencing in the Dharun Ravi Rutgers spying case, and takes listener calls about how they feel now that the trial has ended.


Nancy Solomon

Comments [48]

tom LI

the reaosn why Ravi has not apologized - is because his generation doesnt know what privacy truly is...they actually believe that capturing images of whomever they wish is a Right.

We have to face the facts of HOW Social networking, electronic surveillance (Govt and Private) cameras in every pocket, etc is doing to the Nations culture of Privacy and what its doing to the youth as well...they see no boundaries anywhere else so why should they adopt them...?

May. 24 2012 05:52 PM
Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn, NY

Hi, 30 days in jail is not enough. Tyler Clementi is dead and his room mate did something awful, criminal and stupid to him. No, he did not kill him with a gun but with his actions he showed Tyler that he was not understood as a gay person, that he was not wanted. Ravi has not shown remorse. As far as I know, he has not apologized. The Casey Anthony verdic was a joke too.Eugenia Renskoff

May. 24 2012 04:49 PM
List Mr.Ravi on the Sex Offender Database from Invasion of Personal Privacy is Serious.

It's a shame that Mr. Ravi got a mere 30-day slap on the wrist.
Invasion of personal privacy in the internet age can stigmatize
and destroy a person for life. The Internet (/web/social media/etc)
never forgets.

Rather, Mr. Ravi should be listed as a Sex Offender in the Sex Offender
database - so he (and others who may now be encouraged by his
light sentence) can experience first hand how permanently damaging
Internet stigma can be.

May. 24 2012 03:42 PM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

MediaMan from New York, New York,
I agree with some the things you say. But your anti-gay bigotry stinks, like a toilet. And thank you for coming out of the closet for being another bigot with an opinion.

May. 24 2012 12:08 PM

Yes, let's be lenient with poor mr. ravi - I'm sure he learned his lesson. I mean, why even throw him in jail? Really, do 2 wrongs make a right? We should all just move on.

May. 24 2012 11:44 AM
Fefe from Kew Gardens, NY

I think it is very unfortunate what happened to Mr. Clementi. He probably felt lonely and ostracized not only from his family but also from peers and society. It is so unfortunate that he felt the need to take his life. It is also sad that his emotions and psyche got the best of him.

Though Mr. Dharun Ravi, actions was reprehensible and stupid, I believe 30 days is enough. In fact I don’t believe they should peruse deportation because it will not solve the countless problems of the LGBT community.

We can only hope young and old alike have learned from this awful situation—including Mr. Ravi himself.

May. 24 2012 11:37 AM
MediaMan from New York, New York

It is really too bad that this incident didn' occur in the South or Mid-West. This was much to do about nothing. New Jersey, way to go in wasting the taxpayers money and court time over what was a college prank. It should have all been handled at the college discplinary level. But, no. Gay people have so many rights now that this crap became a major issue.
Ravi had a roommate, Tyler who was a weak gay punk. He was too weak to stand up to his parents, he was too weak to stand up to Ravi, he was too weak to come out the closet, he was too weak not to use the no tell hotel if he did not want people to know his business, and he took the easy way out. Ravi did not directly cause his death, but New Jersey wanted to try him for everything but murder. He did not commit a hate crime, he was curious as to what was going on in his room when he was not there. When I went to college my roommate wanted to know what hot babe I had in the room and what went on. (Maybe if Ravi had a girlfriend he would have not worried so much about Tyler's actions). All this case did was pit the East Indian community against the Gay community. Nobody won. Thirty (30) days was too much, any time is too much. How does this bring Tyler back?Now,maybe other Gay studendts will seek Gay roommates or have their sexual encounters off campus, where they belong. Whatever happened to normal college experiences? Is this country being reduced to its citizens having too accept abnormal sexual behavior in all aspects of life? Thank God for the Republicans.

May. 24 2012 11:35 AM

Tyler's own mother caused his suicide when she disowned him when he came out. What do you think was more traumatic for him? Having somebody put a webcam in his dorm or have his mother reject him? Clementi's mother was such a hypocrite claiming Ravi "took away her son" yet six weeks earlier she wanted nothing to do with her son when she found out he was gay.

May. 24 2012 11:10 AM
India from New York

Given the extent and the severity of the crimes Mr. Ravi was found guilty of, his sentence is considerably light. He was not convicted of causing the suicide, but he was convicted of many serious charges that should carry a heavier weight than 30 days in jail. Given the evidence of Mr. Ravi's actions and his subsequent attempts to cover up his actions, it is clear that he invaded Mr. Clementi's privacy because he was gay. Had Mr. Clementi been hosting a woman at his home, Mr. Ravi would not have used his camera to spy on the tryst.

I am a straight South-Asian person. Remembering how I was at 18 and remembering my college years, I would have been absolutely horrified if I knew the campus was privy to my most personal space. Mr. Ravi should be ashamed and absolutely apologetic for his actions.

I do appreciate, though, that had the sentence been very severe people would not be recognizing how horrible he acted, but would instead be talking about the unfairness of justice. I also appreciate that the judge took into account the immigration implications in this case.

It's too bad that Mr. Ravi was unable to use his obvious talents towards something useful.

May. 24 2012 11:05 AM

Karen: I think he means "thought crime" insofar as some presume Ravi felt hate in his heart about homosexuals, and that it motivated his actions. (There is basically no evidence for this).

He was certainly callous and voyeuristic.

May. 24 2012 10:59 AM

This sentence is a joke because John Edwards is facing up to 30 years for "campaign fraud" while this guy had an implicit hand in Tylers death and basically got off. This case brings back the same feelings I had about the Casey Anthony trial.

May. 24 2012 10:58 AM



May. 24 2012 10:56 AM
Karen Schifano

How is this a thought crime? They guy actually invaded someone's privacy and broadcast it to a bunch of friends. It was real, and no one, gay or straight, would want this to happen to them. I was truly shocked and so should we all be!

May. 24 2012 10:54 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Do colleges use "sexual orientation", among other behaviors (religion, smoker, loud music, political orientation) into account when deciding who will be room mates?

Seems like they should.

May. 24 2012 10:53 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

This guy Ravi was stupid and saw invasion of privacy as a prank. For that he is responsible. But to say that he caused Tyler Clementi’s suicide is simply a mob mentality reaction to the very difficult problem of how gay teens are treated in this society. It is society that makes space for the mistreatment of gay teens. It is society that needs to be in the dock not a foolish person-teen at the time- Ravi.

May. 24 2012 10:52 AM
sam from Brooklyn

I don't see how Ravi can be responsible for Clemente's jumping off of the GW bridge. I can't even drive over that bridge without a shiver of fear. Anyone depressed enough to climb onto the railing must be ill. It's not something Ravi could have made a healthy person do.

As to the "hate crime" part - We don't regulate speech, and we're not supposed to regulate thought. And "hatign" somepone or something shouldn't be criminal. Bigots should be allowed to think whatever they think. If they commit a crime they should be punished for the crime- not for the thoughts that went with the crime at the time. "Hate crime" seems a synonym for "thought crime."

May. 24 2012 10:48 AM

No one should have to shoulder someones suicide. That is a heavy price. They chose to take their life. While Ravi should be punished for his actions he doesn't have to apologize for his suicide. Suicide is a decision Tyler made.

May. 24 2012 10:47 AM

This guy never cried, never apologized and doesn't understand why he is being punished. He never will. There is no punishment for the wicked.

May. 24 2012 10:46 AM
The Truth from Becky

Let this serve as a reminder to parents of teenagers, tweens and 20's to remind their children that what you do and say on the internet, is FOREVER. Warn them. Also, allow your child to have that "I am Gay" conversation with you without bias.

May. 24 2012 10:44 AM
The Truth from Becky

Not a hate crime. A hateful thing to do, yes. The apology would not be genuine anyway. It wasn't the sex act he was ashamed of, it was the fact that he was with another man and he was not openly gay. If it were to happen to me and I were 20 something, well, I still believe 30 days would be sufficient.

May. 24 2012 10:42 AM
J.R. from NYC, ny

Why are the authorities not pursing Deportation? This is "Undesirable" behavior, no doubt.

May. 24 2012 10:42 AM

The caller Chris doesn't make sense to me. What kind of 18-year-old would talk to his parents about his sex life, gay or heterosexual?

May. 24 2012 10:42 AM
Ethan from Manhattan

I think the Indian-American community, rather than defending Ravi's indefensible behavior or being outraged by the verdict and sentencing, needs to examine itself and start to speak out forcefully against prejudice against LGBT people.

May. 24 2012 10:42 AM

Chris, why are we blaming the victim and his family here? Please do your research.

May. 24 2012 10:42 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA


Do you REALLY think this trial would have occurred if Tyler Clemente was straight?

Ravi violated today's politically correct atmosphere - for that he was prosecuted. Ravi is a pig, spying on anyone having sex is disgusting - I'm no fan of his. It's the BIAS-BIAS - the sky is falling crap that disturbs me.

May. 24 2012 10:41 AM
Alex from white plains NY

if he was hispanic he would had gotten a harsher sentencing
and faced deportation this judgement was bullocks

May. 24 2012 10:41 AM
cwebba1 from Astoria

No. Justice was not done. On the surface, Dharun Ravi's acts seem merely stupid and thoughtless. Dharun Ravi acted with premeditation and persistence such that he committed deep harm. His actions were directed at another man's psyche. The anxiety that he produced resulted in death. This man needs to make real restitution for murder.

The message that the judge delivered is that harassment leading to suicide is still acceptable.

Dharun Ravi's restitution will begin after his 30-day sentence has ended.
Queer furies will follow Ravi until his blood guilt is purged.

May. 24 2012 10:40 AM

Ms. Solomon misses a point: the bias crime was Ravi's first offense. Since he committed other crimes - lying to investigators, etc. become 2nd & 3rd offenses. He should not be able to get 1st offense consideration for any successive illegal acts.

May. 24 2012 10:40 AM
Brian from Hoboken

I closely followed this case on the BL show and elsewhere. Based on the whispers and chatting happening on Tyler's dorm hall, it sure sounded to me that the issue was not Tyler being gay, but Tyler having an older person come to his dorm room. If Tyler was straight, had an older woman come to his dorm room, I think that the events would unfold the exact same way. I don't think Dharun did this because Tyler was gay, it did it because it was a stupid and heartless prank. It just happens that Tyler was gay. I think the LGBT community is up in arms over nothing. They should be spending their energy fighting for legal marriage and fighting against people like thy priest in NC who truly hate gays.

May. 24 2012 10:39 AM

This Ravi guy could care less. He got off with a slap on the wrist, and he'll move on - whatever.

May. 24 2012 10:39 AM
Juli from Skillman, NJ

I have a question. I do not know if this is the case in Middlesex County, but, are the judges, when applying sentencing, being pressured not to give criminals longer jail sentences due to jail populations being too large?

May. 24 2012 10:38 AM
John A.

Where's the shame in being outed in 2012 America, anyway?

May. 24 2012 10:37 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Another important thing I think people should remember is that he seriously invaded Mr. Clementi's privacy. Think how outraged you would feel if someone broadcast your intimate encounters with your significant other and then you can see why Mr. Ravi should be given far more than 30 days imprisonment.

May. 24 2012 10:37 AM

In the Dharun Ravi case, the problem was that this was a weak case for a bias/ intimidation/ hate crime charge. It was a weak case for the "bullying" issue b/c Ravi's underlying crimes were only mildly homophobic and voyeuristic, not hateful.

So, I think the problem is "outsized expectations" create in the public by the initial media frenzy about bullying and bias.

Real hatred is out there and needs to be addressed, but the media pushed the centrality of this case beyond the facts to hype up the hate/ bullying issue.

I'd suggest that dissatisfaction with President Obama and perhaps even what might happen with the Trayvon Martin case are due to outsized expectations. The public are right to be excited, intrigued and even aghast or dissatisfied about all three stories. All became truly national stories for which the legal and political ramifications are still unfolding.

Frankly, the media frenzy doesn't make for satisfying outcomes in the public.

May. 24 2012 10:36 AM
Cherie Quain

The 'right' verdict was to follow Ravi with a webcam for 30 days and view every one of his intimate moments for the world to see.

Many children/people these days do not understand or think through their actions and their affects on others.

I believe demonstrating what that might feel like would deter others from being mean and thoughtless.

It is obvious from Ravi's mother's comments, that she has not imparted much empathy to her son, but is overly focused on his feelings.

May. 24 2012 10:36 AM
Karla from Manhattan

As a former prosecutor (10 yrs) I found it ridiculous that this prosecution was mounted. And if Mr. Ravi had apologized, the apology would have been viewed by most, if not all, that it was insincere. As to your guest's point regarding what the issues of the trial should have been--wake up-such issues are not the purpose of trials. To remove this act from the larger context of a society that is still generally homophobic and prejudiced against gay and LGBT citizens is absurd.

May. 24 2012 10:36 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

@ david

But it wasn't a "thought" crime...he was being prosecuted for his actions

May. 24 2012 10:35 AM
Karen Schifano

I think that six months would've been more appropriate. As a gay woman, I still found the thirty year sentence way over the top, especially since it's not clear that Tyler Clemente's suicide was caused only by this cyber- bullying. The fact that Ravi has never apologized makes me furious, though, and this kind of behavior should be recognized for the horrifying selfish and fraternity- based "crime" that it is. Some kind of lesson needs to be taught, not only to Ravi, but to society as a whole.
Thirty days is a slap on the wrist.

May. 24 2012 10:34 AM
Jaime Delio from Ellenville, NY

What I find wrong about the whole thing is that Ravi was not the one responsible for the lifetime of shame that clementi apparently felt for being gay. No one seems to address the extreme reaction by clementi and what it took to create that. W want to blame Ravi as if he made the reaction by a long course of torture. And I can not say Ravi's actions was not the normal one. Would he do the same thing if his roommate was straight? I think so

May. 24 2012 10:34 AM
Brenda from New York City

Thirty days is not a lot of time, but it will seriously impact his life. If we look at Ravi's behavior (and not the horrific aftermath) what we see is how common this type of insensitivity is. His attempts to cover up his behavior is not unusual either. It's reprehensible, yes, but if we were to jail everyone who behaved this way this would be a very lonely planet.

May. 24 2012 10:33 AM
greg from NYC

Judge needs to be removed from the bench PERMANENTLY.....
complete loser.. with so many contradictions of his statements versus sentencing actions..

May. 24 2012 10:33 AM
Tom from UWS

Shouldn't anyone who plants a camera and gloats publicly over private acts broadcast to the world have to serve at least 30 days? This is an issue that is growing, and needs to be treated seriously, the hate crime issue aside.

May. 24 2012 10:31 AM

How much of that 30-day sentence will he likely actually serve?

May. 24 2012 10:31 AM
The Truth from Becky

Uhm he didn't push him off the bridge. Invasion of privacy does not deserve 10 years.

May. 24 2012 10:31 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

What he did was despicable but it wasn't a hate crime.

May. 24 2012 10:30 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

How come so many 'facts' that were in the early reporting of the incident turned out to be untrue? No webcast of the video on the Rutgers intranet. No linkage between the privacy violations and the death.

May. 24 2012 10:30 AM

Here's what I'd like to know. If you completely ignored the bias intimidation convction, what is the average sentence given to a person who's convicted of the other fourteen crimes -- invasion of privacy, interfering with a witness and with evidence, etc.? Because my sense is that this sentence was very, very light.

May. 24 2012 10:27 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

No, justice is never done when there is a conviction for a thought crime.

May. 24 2012 10:25 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.