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No Criminal Charges For Ravi and Wei Likely

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It appears less and less likely that any sort of charges will be filed against Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, the Rutger’s students whose alleged posting of an intimate video caused the suicide of Ravi’s roommate and fellow student, Tyler Clementi.

In a statement released today, Wei’s attorneys have said, “Molly is a wonderful, caring and talented young woman with a bright future. That future is being threatened by unfounded attacks upon her character…This classic rush to judgment ignores Molly’s basic right to fairness and presumption of innocence. We can only hope, for everyone’s sake, that the truth will not be forever lost in the process…Neither Molly nor anyone else should be used to further the agenda of others”

Gay activist have asked for hate crimes charges against the two rather than the current charges of violation of privacy. Without the hate crime charges, neither Ravi nor Wei are ever likely to face any jail time. Writes the legal blog whitecollarcrimenews.com, “New Jersey has a presumption against imprisonment for first offenders convicted of third and fourth degree crimes.  That means it is almost impossible for them to go to prison.  This is why the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is doing everything they can to tack on the bias charge.  That would be a second degree charge that has a presumption of imprisonment which means it is almost 100% certain that they will go to prison.  I think that they are going to have a tough time bringing this charge against them although public pressure is immense for them to go to prison.”

But the hate crime charges may not stick: Middlesex Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan says there may not be enough evidence to charge the two.

Even if they escape legal consequences, Ravi and Wei may still be expelled from Rutgers, where spying on another student is violation of student conduct policy. Ironically, Rutgers officials refuse to comment on the status of the two students, citing privacy rights of Ravi and Wei.

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About A. Jurek

A. Jurek is one of the editors at Blogcritics. Contact me at: a.jurek@blogcritics.org
  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz Alan Kurtz

    It wouldn’t affect punishment for alleged privacy violators such as Ravi and Wei, but U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) announced on October 6 plans to introduce national legislation requiring that colleges and universities prohibit harassment of any student. His bill would also provide government funding of programs to deter such harassment.

    Since Lautenberg isn’t running for reelection this year, it’s hard to chalk this up as mere political opportunism. Let’s give him the benefit of any doubt and say he’s sincere.

    Even so, do we really need a federal law requiring schools to prohibit harassment? This is a slippery slope. What’s next? A federal law requiring schools to prohibit rudeness? And after that, a federal law requiring students to say “Have a good day” as they pass one another in the hall?

    I wish Tyler Clementi hadn’t killed himself. I extend condolences to his family and friends. But the response to this tragedy is completely over the top.

  • templescroll

    It is unlikely that this is the first time Ravi pulled this kind of ‘stunt’. Molly Wei knew Ravi since Middle School according to reports. Wasn’t she aware that Ravi was a spoiled, insensitive, self-serving jerk?! Wasn’t she aware of this type of behavior for years? And in fact, was she not condoning it by continuing to be his friend? Wei was the one ‘friend’ that Ravi knew would tolerate his antics so he felt comfortable enough to ‘use’ Wei and her computer to further his sick agenda…he knew she wouldn’t try to stop him. Friends don’t let friends bully…Ravi probably even bullied Wei! Bullies aren’t born they are created. Wei, Ravi’s parents and other fed this behavior. Many of the bullies I have had the displeasure of knowing, were two faced and very good at ‘playing nice’ ( gregarious, out going, polite, friendly) a cover that gives them carte blanche to behave badly because nobody will take notice…or believe it!

  • Melissa

    I hope these two charmers have to watch their backs for the rest of their lives.

  • Chad

    This was NOT a hate crime – they should be punished but not as a hate crime. Do you think Ravi would have spied on Clementi if he was with a girl? I think so – if he was a jerk, he was a jerk. I think he wouldve been happier spying on Clementi and a girl than with another guy. It was a stupid, terrible, idiotic prank – but a hate crime is a whole different beast. Just because you feel stronly about it or are gay doesnt make it right to be accusing people of things that just arent true.

  • __

    Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei committed a CRIME, done with deliberate maliciousness. Both Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei deserve to be thrown into the slammer again- and THIS time without being bailed out by their parents and high priced attorneys. Those two spoiled, arrogant monsters have no conscience. Are their parents the same type of scum? It’s a possibility.

  • Guest

    Molly Wei and Dharun Ravi are spoiled, arrogant, self-entitled bullies, guilty as sin. Molly is NOT EVEN REMOTELY a decent human being (in fact, she’s a total monster) because she HELPED SET UP THE WEBCAM and gleefully enjoyed destroying Clementi’s life and broadcasting his private moments for all to see. Both Ravi and Wei deserve serious prison time (WITHOUT being bailed out by their parents and high-priced attorneys like they were when they were first arrested for their malicious deeds). Unfortunately, it looks like – again- they will walk away from their crimes. It’s beyond sad. Hopefully they will be less self-centered and less arrogant when they are burning in hell.

  • Lisa

    Who are these two kids? Their parents must have some kind of pull somewhere. The media hasn’t hounded them, no one has seen them. You never actually hear who their parents are. They are extremely privileged. Wonder if some kind of Diplomatic immunity is involved. NO ONE is touching it – not even Nancy Grace. Very suspicious and I’m not usually one for conspiracy theories, but something is not quite right here.

  • Lisa

    Who are these two kids? Their parents must have some kind of pull somewhere. The media hasn’t hounded them, no one has seen them. You never actually hear who their parents are. They are extremely privileged. Wonder if some kind of Diplomatic immunity is involved. NO ONE is touching it – not even Nancy Grace. Very suspicious and I’m not usually one for conspiracy theories, but something is not quite right here.