Former Rutgers students Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei have up until this point declined to discuss what exactly they saw the night that they allegedly watched webcam footage of Ravi's roommate, Tyler Clementi, engaged in a sexual encounter with another man. The two were charged with multiple counts of invasion of privacy, and have been the subjects of community outrage in the wake of Clementi's suicide. Now, their attorneys and friends are speaking out about what the two saw to save their reputations.
Rubin Sinins, Wei’s attorney, told the Star-Ledger, "I’m unaware of any evidence of sexual contact. The statute defining sexual contact refers to nudity and private parts, and, to my knowledge, nothing like that was seen. I’m also unaware of any evidence that any video was recorded, reproduced or disseminated in any way." Both attorneys say the few seconds of video they did see showed Clementi hugging and kissing another man, but there was no nudity. Ravi's attorney said, "Nothing was transmitted beyond one computer and what was seen was only viewed for a matter of seconds."
However, their friends paint a slightly different picture. Rather than an accidental few seconds, a friend of Wei's said, "She said, 'Dharun came in to my room and turned on my computer to web chatting. We watched for two minutes.'" Ravi had updated to Twitter that he had seen his roommate "making out with a dude," and friend Scott Xiu said, "He was kind of bragging. He told me, after that he told the entire hall." Xiu also said Ravi had known Clementi was gay before the incident, and has other gay friends.
Law professor Tim Wu told CBS that the issue is not how many people saw the video, but whether or not Clementi believed it had been viewed at all. "This question of whether in fact the video was disseminated on the Internet is of very little legal relevance...What I think we have to think about is whether the victim thought this film was being put on the Internet, because that may have been why he killed himself." But as another law professor, Orin S. Kerri, previously said, the state should be prosecuting people for what they did, not for "what the victim did in response." No court date has been scheduled yet, but Ravi and Wei each face five years in prison.