Prosecutors say hate crime charges possible in suicide
Prosecutors now say it’s possible to bring bias charges against the two Rutgers students whose secretly videotaping of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi in his dorm room may have driven the freshman to commit suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.
Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei have already been charged with invasion of privacy for taping Clementi in an embrace with another man, and spreading the images online, but “we will be making every effort to assess whether bias played a role in the incident, and, if so, we will bring appropriate charges,’’ said Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan yesterday.
The body that washed up in Harlem on Wednesday was identified yesterday afternoon as Clementi, confirming what his family and friends already knew.
“Tyler was a fine young man, and a distinguished musician. The family is heartbroken beyond words,” said the Clementi family in a statement.
Clementi’s story has touched thousands, many who wrote on a Facebook page dedicated to the talented young violinist and college freshman.
“Even at 42, I can still remember feeling what I assume Tyler felt and it saddens me,” wrote one man. “Rest in Peace, Tyler and know you have and will continue to touch lives.”
A daylong vigil for Clementi was to be held Friday starting at 10 a.m. on the Rutgers campus