Dharun Ravi, the former roommate of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, is requesting that charges of intimidation, invasion of privacy, and evidence tampering among others be dismissed based on new evidence submitted by his defense team that paints a more complicated picture of their relationship leading up to Clementi's September 22 suicide.
Fourteen minutes before Clementi posted a message on his Facebook account indicating that he was planning to jump off the George Washington Bridge, Ravi texted Clementi to apologize to his roommate for spying on him via a webcam he set up in the room. "I’ve known you were gay and I have no problem with it," Ravi wrote, according to the Star-Ledger, "I don’t want your freshman year to be ruined because of a petty misunderstanding, it’s adding to my guilt."
While it has been documented that Ravi poked fun at Clementi for being gay, instant messages show that Clementi made light of Ravi's Indian heritage: Clementi wrote Ravi was “sooo indian/first gen americanish” and that “his rents defs own a dunkin,” referring to a Dunkin' Donuts, the Times reports.
Previously it was believed that Ravi and his co-defendant, Molly Wei, broadcasted images of Clementi and a 25-year-old man worldwide on the Internet, but the defense now says that the video was only briefly seen by the two and a few other girls in the dorm room. Also included in the new evidence are details that Clementi came out to his family shortly before leaving for Rutgers and was "completely rejected" by his mother, while his father accepted his sexuality.
Clementi also told a friend he wasn't very upset when he initially found out that Ravi spied on him a first time with a web cam, writing in an instant message, "When I first read the tweet I defs felt violated/ But then/ When I remembered what actually happened ... / Idk (I don’t know) ... /Doesn’t seem soooo bad lol."
The next hearing in the trial has been set for September 9. Read Dharun Ravi's entire text message sent to Tyler Clementi shortly before he committed suicide below.