Founded in 2010

News & Entertainment for Mason City, Clear Lake & the Entire North Iowa Region

Ravi told police he violated roommate’s privacy

By Karen Sudol, The Record (Hackensack N.J.) –

NEWS BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Dharun Ravi admitted to authorities that he invaded Tyler Clementi’s privacy when he set up a webcam and saw his Rutgers roommate in an intimate encounter with another man, but insisted he did so because he “got a bad vibe” from the visitor who he thought might steal his iPad.

The jury heard Ravi speak for the first time Wednesday when prosecutors played a nearly hourlong video interview that investigators from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and Rutgers conducted on Sept. 23, 2010. The interview took place a day after Clementi, of Ridgewood, committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.

First Assistant Prosecutor Julia McClure presented the interview as her case nears a close to show Ravi confessed to invading Clementi’s privacy and that he sought to minimize and cover up his actions.

Ravi, 20, accompanied authorities to the Rutgers police headquarters from his Plainsboro home to answer questions about events in the days before Clementi’s suicide.

While the interview was played Wednesday, Clementi’s father, Joseph, jotted down items in a notebook while Ravi’s mother looked away from the large screen. The jurors referred to transcripts of the interview while viewing it.

Ravi is charged with 15 counts of invasion of privacy, hindering apprehension and bias intimidation — a hate crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

He set up the webcam and, with dorm mate Molly Wei, watched a few seconds of Clementi and a man identified only as M.B. kissing in their dorm room on Sept. 19. Ravi then tweeted that he was in Wei’s room, used his webcam and saw Clementi “making out with a dude.”

Prosecutors say Ravi wanted to humiliate Clementi because of his sexual orientation. Ravi also planned to watch Clementi and M.B. a second time and wrote to Twitter followers, “Anyone with iChat I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it’s happening again,” according to prosecutors.

But Clementi saw the tweets — even saving them as screenshots to his laptop — and unplugged Ravi’s computer before M.B. visited that night.

Ravi is not charged with causing Clementi’s death and his lawyers have maintained he did not act maliciously, was not anti-gay and used the webcam to ensure his belongings were still there when he returned to the room.

During the taped interview with Michael Daniewicz, an investigator with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Ravi said Clementi told him he wanted to have a friend to the dorm on Sept. 19. But when he saw the visitor, whom he described as older, slightly overweight and with a beard, he “got a bad vibe from him.”

“I was kind of creeped out and worried what was happening,” said Ravi, who was wearing a T-shirt, pants and flip-flops during the interview.

He said he went across the hall to Wei’s dorm room and the two briefly watched Clementi and M.B. being intimate before shutting the camera off. Ravi told authorities he felt uncomfortable and guilty viewing the streamed images.

Daniewicz asked Ravi whether he had invaded Clementi’s privacy by using the webcam.

“Yes, but I didn’t realize it was something so private,” Ravi replied. “It was also my room so I thought …”

“I didn’t want him to think I was spying on him,” he added. “I can’t imagine who would want to see that.”

Investigators then directed Ravi’s attention to the tweet he sent daring followers to view Clementi’s second intimate encounter. Daniewicz quizzed Ravi about his assertion that he had posted a tweet that instructed followers not to dare video chat him.

Daniewicz informed Ravi that Clementi had read his tweets and reported them to a resident assistant when requesting a room change.

Ravi said he didn’t know Clementi had read the tweets but that the RA told him, “Tyler thought I was trying to broadcast him and telling a bunch of people to watch it.”

At another point, Daniewicz asked Ravi whether he saw Clementi’s Sept. 22 Facebook update in which he wrote, “Jumping off the gw bridge, sorry.”

Ravi responded that he viewed it on the morning of Sept. 23.

When the investigator insinuated that Clementi may have posted the Facebook update after receiving a long apologetic text from Ravi, Ravi was seen placing his hand to his head and remaining quiet for a moment.

Court records have since shown that Ravi’s text, in which he explained to Clementi that he never intended to see his intimate encounter, was sent after Clementi updated his Facebook page.

Ravi said he had been waiting for a response from Clementi.

A portion of the text read, “I’ve known you were gay and 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.”

Ravi also told Daniewicz that he took steps to ensure no one viewed a second tryst on Sept. 21 by turning the camera away from Clementi’s bed and double checking that his computer couldn’t be accessed.

“I’m not trying to sell anything,” he told Daniewicz. “Regardless of what I said the fact was my computer wasn’t accessible.”

The interview ended when Ravi’s father told authorities he would seek an attorney for his son.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Even more news:


Need help with your website?
Call your local professional,
Breakthrough Web Design:
or go to

Copyright 2022 – Internet Marketing Pros. of Iowa, Inc.
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x