CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, October 1, 2010

Charges and potential charges in Clementi case

The New York Times has this article discussing the case of the college student who committed suicide after becoming aware that his roommate had apparently streamed on the internet a video of the student having a homosexual encounter. Here is a discussion of the current charges. Query whether they could/should be an adequate predicate for a felony-murder prosecution, and whether the penalty range for the underlying offenses are sufficient for the harm caused and/or foreseeable:

The Middlesex County prosecutor’s office said Mr. Clementi’s roommate, Dharun Ravi, 18, of Plainsboro, N.J., and another classmate, Molly Wei, 18, of Princeton Junction, N.J., had each been charged with two counts of invasion of privacy for using “the camera to view and transmit a live image” of Mr. Clementi. The most serious charges carry a maximum sentence of five years.

Mr. Ravi was charged with two additional counts of invasion of privacy for trying a similar live feed on the Internet on Sept. 21, the day before the suicide. A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, James O’Neill, said the investigation was continuing, but he declined to “speculate on additional charges.”

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