Dharun Ravi Convicted of Hate Crime in Tyler Clementi’s Death
This verdict is in: Dharun Ravi, GUILTY of hate crime in the Tyler Clementi case. This arrogant young man had a chance to plea out to a lesser charge, one that would’ve assured him no jail time, late last year but opted, instead, to take it to trial. Foolish mistake. Instead, Mr. Ravi was found guilty on all 15 charges against him. Sentencing is to come, and he’s looking at years. Tyler Clementi’s family was sentenced to life without him on September 22, 2010 because of Dharun Ravi’s actions. He gets off easy.
As 18-year-old first-year students at the prestigious Rutgers University, Ravi and Clementi ended up being roommates. Tyler had just come out to his family as being gay before he left for college. Once at school, and as Ravi’s roommate, he met with a man with whom he’d apparently started becoming intimate with. Dharun Ravi decided it would be cool to secretly set up a webcam and broadcast Tyler and his partner during their intimacy on his Twitter account. As a result, Tyler Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. The case made national, international!, headlines. It was also one of a flurry of LGBT teen suicides in September 2010 that included Seth Walsh and Asher Brown.
Dharun Ravi, incredibly, was offered a plea bargain December of last year that would’ve all but set him free. He would’ve received no jail time and would’ve been able to remain in this country. He declined. He wanted to argue his case. He lost. And, now, he’s facing prison time as well as deportation.
In my own opinion, the question that isn’t being explored is why was he offered a plea deal in the first place? Why was the State of New Jersey willing to offer this man much lesser charges with no consequences when his actions led directly to the suicide death of Tyler Clementi? To me, that’s almost as troublesome as Ravi’s actions. Luckily, he had the misguided notion that he could win if only he was able to have his day in court to present “his side” of the story.
“His side” of the story is irrelevant. A jury told him that today. Tyler Clementi is gone forever because of Dharun’s actions. Let’s hope that this very high-profile case of homophobic bullying, it’s tragic results, and now the consequences for the perpetrator sends a message to those who think that bullying is cool or acceptable: there will be consequences for your actions.
The Clementis suffer the consequences of your actions every single day of their lives, Mr. Ravi. Now, so will you.
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