Clementi’s story also became linked to the It Gets Better project—an online collection of video monologues expressing solidarity with unhappy or harassed gay teens.The site was launched the day before Clementi’s death, in response to the suicide, two weeks earlier, of Billy Lucas, a fifteen-year-old from Indiana who, for years, had been called a “fag” and told vicious things, including “You don’t deserve to live.” That October, President Barack Obama taped an It Gets Better message, referring to “several young people who were bullied and taunted for being gay, and who ultimately took their own lives.”It became widely understood that a closeted student at Rutgers had committed suicide after video of him having sex with a man was secretly shot and posted online.A few weeks into the semester, Ravi and another new student, Molly Wei, used a webcam to secretly watch Clementi in an embrace with a young man.
He posted a link to the Justusboys page on his Twitter account: “Found out my roommate is gay.”But when Tam asked “why do gaypornsites even have forums,” Ravi laughed—“hahaha”—and wrote, “it’s just a gay forum.” That sounds like at least a stab at worldliness, and Ravi seems to have found it easy to drop the subject of Keybowvio’s apparent homosexuality. ” Ravi wrote, “I feel bad for him.”At six minutes past midnight, Tam offered Ravi a summary.
Ellen De Generes declared that Clementi had been “outed as being gay on the Internet and he killed himself.
Something must be done.”Enraged online commentary called for life imprisonment for Ravi and Wei, and Ravi’s home address and phone number were published on Twitter. Garden State Equality, a New Jersey gay-rights group, released a statement that read, in part, “We are sickened that anyone in our society, such as the students allegedly responsible for making the surreptitious video, might consider destroying others’ lives as a sport.” Governor Chris Christie, of New Jersey, said, “I don’t know how those two folks are going to sleep at night, knowing that they contributed to driving that young man to that alternative.” Senator Frank Lautenberg and Representative Rush Holt, both from New Jersey, introduced the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act.
In fact, there was no posting, no observed sex, and no closet.
But last spring, shortly before Molly Wei made a deal with prosecutors, Ravi was indicted on charges of invasion of privacy (sex crimes), bias intimidation (hate crimes), witness tampering, and evidence tampering.