According to their lawyers, Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, the Rutgers first-years accused of webcam-spying on Ravi's roommate Tyler Clementi days before Clementi's suicide, didn't see Clementi having sex—and therefore, the attorneys say, the charges won't hold up.

In a little bit of standard pre-trial positioning, Ravi and Wei's attorneys—and two of the accused first-years' friends—talked with the Newark Star-Ledger to, and I'm quoting the Star-Ledger here, "dispel the widespread image of the pair as peeping toms who broadcast a fellow teen having sex on the internet." You see—again, according to Ravi's lawyer—"nothing was transmitted beyond one computer and what was seen was only viewed for a matter of seconds." Hmm.

Meanwhile, Wei's lawyer thinks that the charge of invasion of privacy based on seeing Clementi engaged in sexual contact won't hold up because there was no "sexual contact"—just making out: "The statute defining sexual contact refers to nudity and private parts, and, to my knowledge, nothing like that was seen."

Ah. Okay. Molly Wei's friend Sean Yan was also roped in to defend his friend and downplay her actions:

"She said, 'Dharun came in to my room and turned on my computer to web chatting. We watched for two minutes,'…" said Sean Yan, 18, a longtime friend.

Wei told friends she saw Clementi and a male visitor kissing. She described the visitor as "kind of sketchy," with ragged clothes and a scruffy beard, Yan said.

Ragged clothes and a scruffy beard! Sounds sketchy to me. Yan isn't the only person standing for the defendants in The Star-Ledger, either—Ravi's friend Scott Xu is there, attempting to dispel notions that Ravi was homophobic:

"He was kind of bragging. He told me, after that he told the entire hall," said Scott Xu, 17.

However, Xu said Ravi was not known among his friends for being homophobic. He knew Clementi, his roommate, was gay and one of the first friends he made at Rutgers' college orientation earlier in the summer was also gay, said Xu.

Well, I guess that clears everything up. Everyone go home.

[Newark Star-Ledger]


Students Charged in Tyler Clementi Case Withdraw from Rutgers
Prosecutors Subpoena Rutgers Emails on Tyler Clementi
Students Say Roommate Had 'No Intention' of Spying on Tyler Clementi
Is This Webcam Spying Victim Tyler Clementi's Last Cry for Help?
The Tragic Story of Tyler Clementi, Rutgers' Webcam Voyeurism Victim
How a College Kid Livestreamed His Roommate's Gay Sexual Encounter
What It's Like to Be a Gay Teen