Tensions Documented Between Clementi and Roommate
BY Julie Bolcer
September 09 2011 9:35 AM ET
Court documents released in recent weeks show a tense relationship between Tyler Clementi and Rutgers roommate Dharun Ravi marked by wariness about each other’s sexual orientation and race.
The Associated Press reports on the documents ahead of a Friday court hearing for Ravi, who stands accused of charges including a hate crime and invasion of privacy for using a webcam to spy on Clementi’s intimate encounter with another man. Clementi, a freshman, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge last year and became a symbol of the tragedy of antigay bullying.
According to the AP, “The court papers show modern intrigue spelled out in texts and tweets, many jokey, some confessional. Along with computer records are interview transcripts that could become the heart of the evidence if the case goes to trial. The tension between the roommates began before the campus move in date of Aug. 28, 2010.”
The communications show that Clementi found Ravi to be "soo Indian/first gen Americanish," and thought it “awkward” that his roommate changed his pants in the closet. He also noticed that his roommate pointed a webcam at his bed.
Ravi frequently discussed and joked about his roommate’s sexual orientation with friends including Molly Wei, who lived across the hall. The two and others viewed Clementi’s encounter with the unidentified man from her room, and Ravi discussed what they saw on Twitter, which prompted Clementi to complain to a resident assistant shortly before he took his own life.
Ravi sent a long text message to Clementi after he posted his suicide threat on Facebook, but it remains unclear whether Clementi ever read the note in which Ravi said he had “no problem” with him being gay.
Lawyers for Ravi on Friday will seek to have the indictment dismissed and compel prosecutors to reveal the identity of the man in the intimate encounter with Clementi. Prosecutors argue that he is the victim of a sex crime and can remain unknown.