An American student committed suicide after his roommate allegedly taped him having sex with a man and streamed it on the internet.
Tyler Clementi, 18, a student at Rutgers University in New Jersey, is thought to have jumped from the George Washington Bridge on September 22nd.
Police confirmed that a man’s body was recovered last night from the Hudson River. It had no identification but Clementi’s driving licence and student ID were found on the bridge. Two witnesses said they saw a man leap into the water.
Clementi, from Ridgewood in Bergen County, was described as a gifted violinist who played in the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra.
Paul Mainardi, his family’s lawyer, said in a statement: “Tyler was a fine young man, and a distinguished musician. The family is heartbroken beyond words. They respectfully request that they be given time to grieve their great loss and that their privacy at this painful time be respected by all.”
Two students have been charged with invasion of privacy for allegedly placing a camera in Clementi’s room and broadcasting the images.
Dharun Ravi of Plainsboro, New Jersey, who is thought to be Clementi’s roommate, and Molly W Wei of Princeton, both 18, were each charged with two counts of invasion of privacy for the alleged incident on September 22nd.
Ravi was also charged with two more counts of invasion of privacy for allegedly trying to view and transmit another encounter involving Clementi on September 21st.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Ravi posted on Twitter on September 19th: “Room-mate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”
Two days later, he allegedly asked friends to watch a streamed video. “I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it’s happening again,” the message said.
The pair could face up to five years in jail if convicted.
Steven Goldstein, chairman of the gay rights group Garden State Equality,
said: “We are heartbroken over the tragic loss of a young man who, by all accounts, was brilliant, talented and kind.
“And we are sickened that anyone in our society, such as the students allegedly responsible for making the surreptitious video, might consider destroying others’ lives as a sport.”