April 20, 2011 / 4:44 PM / 9 years ago

Roommate indicted in Rutgers student suicide

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A grand jury on Wednesday indicted the roommate of a Rutgers University student who committed suicide after his tryst was streamed online, accusing him of a cover-up.

Dharun Ravi, 19, of Plainsboro, New Jersey was indicted for invasion of privacy, bias and evidence tampering by a grand jury in Middlesex County Court in New Jersey, according to a statement released by the Middlesex County prosecutor’s office.

Rutgers University freshman and violinist Tyler Clementi, 18, leaped off the George Washington Bridge last fall after his roommate and another student, Molly Wei, 19, of West Windsor, used a webcam in their dormitory room to spy on him during a romantic encounter with a man. They streamed the video live online.

The indictment accuses Ravi of trying to delete his post on Twitter advertising the live video stream, and replace it with another post intended to mislead investigators.

Prosecutors allege Ravi also tried to convince witnesses not to testify against him.

The 15-count indictment came in the wake of calls from the Clementi family for a criminal investigation of the case to deliver the message it was not merely a college prank.

“The grand jury indictment spells out cold and calculated acts against our son Tyler by his former college roommate,” the Clementi family said in a statement released after the indictment was returned.

“If these facts are true, as they appear to be, then it is important for our criminal justice system to establish clear accountability under the law. We are eager to have the process move forward for justice in this case and to reinforce the standards of acceptable conduct in our society,” the Clementi family said.

Ravi and Wei withdrew from Rutgers. The prosecutor’s office said a grand jury did not choose to indict Wei but the case against her remains active. She was charged last fall with two counts of invasion of privacy.

Ravi’s attorney was not immediately available for comment.

Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jerry Norton

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