Following his conviction in the webcam spy scandal that preceded gay Rutgers student Tyler Clementi's suicide, Dharun Ravi has broken his silence. "Energized" by the verdict, Ravi plans to fight his conviction. He maintains that he didn't commit a hate crime, and adds that he doesn't think he contributed to Clementi's death. "I was an insignificant part of his life," Ravi tells 20/20's Chris Cuomo in an interview that will air tonight. "That's what's giving me comfort now."
19-year-old Dharun Ravi, the Rutgers student who spied on his gay roommate Tyler Clementi kissing a man shortly before Clementi committed suicide, was convicted of multiple charges of invasion of privacy today and bias intimidation, a hate crime. (Note: We previously wrote that Ravi had been convicted only of invasion of privacy, based on incorrect early reports.)
Dharun Ravi is the 19-year-old Rutgers student who in 2010 secretly monitored his roommate Tyler Clementi making out with another man via webcam and streamed it over the internet. Shortly after, Clementi killed himself. Ravi now faces 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy, and witness and evidence tampering — though he wasn't charged in connection with Clementi's death itself. Still, he's facing up to ten years in prison if convicted. Prosecutors offered him an attractive way out: A plea deal that would promise him no prison time, but included community service, probation and counseling. It also came came with the added enticement that the state would help Ravi fight any deportation charges brought against him. (Ravi is a citizen of India.) All in all, it was a pretty sweet deal.
Hundreds of pages of documents relating to the suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi were released today, and, well, if you thought the story of a gay college freshman jumping off the George Washington bridge after his roommate set up a spy cam in their dorm room couldn't get any more unbelievably sad and tragic... think again.