Dharun Ravi And Tyler Clementi Timeline: Former Rutgers Roommate In Dorm Room Spying Trial
A timeline of events could be crucial to determining if Dharun Ravi is guilty of bullying and snooping on Tyler Clementi in the so-called "Roommate Webcam Spying" trial. Ravi was hit with a 15-count indictment, including bias intimidation and invasion of privacy, following Clementi's suicide in Sept. 2010.
Though not charged in Clementi's death, Ravi's case hinges on the roommates' interactions before Clementi jumped from the George Washington Bridge. Ravi used a computer camera to watch Clementi in a romantic encounter with a man, then wrote about it on Twitter. Clementi apparently experienced a range of emotions after he found out about Ravi's voyeurism. Was it a bad prank, as Ravi's defense claims, or was it hate crime against a gay roommate, as the prosecution alleges?
A week before the start of his freshman year at Rutgers, Dharun Ravi tries to find his future roommate online, according to the New Yorker. After an in-depth Internet search that leads to gay-themed discussion rooms, Ravi, a talented computer whiz, concludes that his roommate is gay.
Aug. 25, 2010
Three days before Clementi starts at Rutgers, he comes out as gay to his family, ABC News reported. He says to a friend that his father seemed "very accepting," while his mother seemed "very dismissive."
Aug. 28, 2010
Ravi and Clementi move into their dorm, Room 30 of Davidson Hall on the campus in New Brunswick, N.J.
Aug. 29, 2010
Ravi messages Jason Tam, a high school buddy, saying, "I think my roommate likes his privacy so I've been out of my room."
Sept. 16, 2010
Clementi texts Ravi to ask for privacy in their room at Davidson Hall. He invites a 25-year-old man, known so far only as "M.B.," to the dorm.
Sept. 19, 2010
Clementi, expecting another visit from M.B., texts Ravi asking for private use of their room.
After playing ultimate frisbee, Ravi returns to Room 30 in Davidson Hall. He realizes after a short exchange with his roommate that Clementi wanted the room for the entire night.
Ravi goes to the room of Molly Wei, a friend who lived just across the corridor.
Using Wei's computer, Ravi connects to his computer via iChat. He activates his webcam to see what's happening in his dorm room. The camera reveals Clementi kissing and embracing M.B. Wei says later they watched for just a few seconds.
Ravi posts the following message to his Twitter account: "Roommate 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."
Soon after, Wei IMs her boyfriend, Austin Chung, regarding Clementi:
"He's NICE but he's kissing a guy right now / like THEY WERE GROPING EACH OTHER EWWW."
After 10 p.m.
With Ravi out of the room, Wei -- now with four other young women -- turns the iChat back on. They quickly see Clementi and M.B. with their shirts off and turn the program off again.
M.B. leaves Room 30.
Sept. 20, 2010
During an IM session with Yang, Clementi reportedly indicates that Ravi tweeted about his date with M.B. "But its not like he left the cam on or recorded or anything," Clementi wrote. "He just like took a five sec peep lol."
Sept. 21, 2010
Clementi's mood changes and he posts a message on gay discussion forum Justusboys, asking for advice on how to handle the situation with Ravi:
"I feel like the only thing the school might do is find me another roommate, probably with me moving out...and i'd probably just end up with somebody worse than him...I mean aside from being an asshole from time to time, he's a pretty decent roommate."
Clementi requests a room change on the Rutgers housing website.
Ravi receives a text from Clementi, asking to have the room to himself from 9:30 p.m. to midnight. Clementi invited M.B. over again.
Ravi tweets, as reported by the Smoking Gun: "Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes, it's happening again."
In another student's room with several other people, Ravi checks the iChat connection to his computer.
Later in the evening, Ravi texts a friend from high school, telling her to connect with his computer through iChat. "People are having a viewing party," he wrote.
Clementi reads Ravi's tweet from earlier that evening and meets with a resident adviser. He unplugs Ravi's computer.
Clementi texts Yang, saying, "I was afraid he might have hidden another webcam so I also shut down and turned off the power strip."
M.B. arrives at Davidson Hall.
Clementi texts Ravi to let him know he can come back in the room, saying "we're done."
In a formal email to the resident adviser he spoke with earlier, Clementi summarizes the incidents on Sept. 19 and 21 and quotes Ravi's Twitter account. He writes, "I feel that my privacy has been violated and I am extremely uncomfortable sharing a room with someone who would act in this wildly inappropriate manner."
Sept. 22, 2010
Clementi takes a university bus to a train station. He heads into New York City, toward the George Washington Bridge.
Clementi posts a status update on Facebook from his phone: "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry."
Ravi texts Clementi to explain: "I'm sorry if you heard something distorted and disturbing but I assure you all my actions were good natured.”
Ravi sends another text: "I've known you were gay and I have no problem with it. In fact one of my closest friends is gay and he and I have a very open relationship. I just suspected you were shy about it which is why I never broached the topic. I don't want your freshman year to be ruined because of a petty misunderstanding, it's adding to my guilt. You have a right to move if you wish but I don't want you to feel pressured to without fully understanding the situation."
Sept. 28, 2010
Middlesex County prosecutor's office charge Ravi and Wavi with invasion of privacy for the Sept. 19 viewing, and Ravi alone for the Sept. 21 viewing.
Sept. 29, 2010
Clementi's body is discovered in the Hudson River.
April 20, 2011
Ravi is indicted on charges of bias intimidation, invasion of privacy, witness tampering, and evidence tampering.
May 6, 2011
Wei accepts a plea deal to avoid jail time in favor of 300 hours of community service and some sensitivity counseling. She agrees to cooperate with prosecution in their case against Ravi.
October 20, 2011
Ravi turns down a plea bargain for a three- to five-year sentence.
December 9, 2011
Ravi rejects a second offer: six hundred hours of community service, no jail time.
Feb. 21, 2012
Ravi's trial begins in New Brunswick, N.J. He faces 10 years in prison.
March 14, 2012
Ravi is found guilty of 15 counts including bias, invasion of privacy, hindering apprehension and witness tampering. The verdict carries a possible sentence of five to 10 years.
May 21, 2012
Ravi was sentenced to 30 days in jail, three years of probation and 300 hours of community service.