The fate of Tyler Clementi’s roommate is about to be decided. Dharun Ravi has been charged with a number of counts of invasion of privacy and bias intimidation because of the events surrounding Clementi’s suicide. The verdict is being read on television right now.
Ravi has been found guilty of invasion of privacy.
But not guilty of the top counts of bias intimidation. Wait, no — he’s being found GUILTY of different theories of bias intimidation. Ravi is getting slammed.
There are 15 counts. It seems like Ravi is being found guilty of all the invasion of privacy counts, and guilty of invading Clementi’s privacy in order to intimidate him due Clementi’s sexual orientation.
They’re still reading counts. Ravi has also been found guilty of witness tampering and hindering prosecution.
Man, Ravi should have taken the plea deal. Now he’s going to jail (additional UPDATES after the jump)….
On the top counts of bias intimidation, the jury found that even if Ravi didn’t mean to intimidate Clementi on the basis of his sexual orientation, Clementi was intimidated because of his orientation. That’s enough for guilty.
Most likely, these guilty counts will land Ravi in jail for up to ten years. And after that, Ravi could be facing deportation.
UPDATE: The sentencing date has been moved back to May 21st.
UPDATE: Interestingly, the jury felt that Clementi was a victim of Ravi’s hate crimes, but the jurors didn’t find the guy Clementi hooked up with (referred to as “MB” during the trial) as a victim on all the counts they could have. We’ll never know if jurors would have voted this way had Clementi not killed himself.
UPDATE: Let’s break down what the jurors did with Count 4, 2nd Degree Bias Intimidation. Once they find Ravi guilty of invasion of privacy, they can find him guilty of bias intimidation. But look at what the jurors did:
• Invasion of Privacy, with the purpose to intimidate Tyler Clementi because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED
• Invasion of Privacy, with the purpose to intimidate M.B. because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED
• Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause Tyler Clementi to be intimidated because of sexual orientation: GUILTY
• Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause M.B. to be intimidated, because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED
• Invasion of Privacy, under circumstances that caused Tyler Clementi to be intimidated, and considering the manner in which the offense was committed, Clementi reasonably believed that he was selected to be the target of the offense because of sexual orientation: GUILTY
So, the jury believed that Ravi did not invade Clementi’s privacy for the purpose of intimidating Clementi over his sexual orientation. But they thought that Ravi should have known that Clementi would feel intimidated, and that Clementi believed he was intimidated, and so Ravi is guilty and going to jail.
Is that how we want our hate crime laws to work? Any time we feel we’re being singled out because of our race, religion, or sexual orientation, we’re victims of a hate crime, even if we’re not being singled out because of our race, religion, or orientation? We’ve moved beyond punishing what is in a person’s heart, and moved straight to punishing an assailant for what’s in his victim’s heart.
Check out the next page for a full breakdown of the verdict from the Statehouse Bureau….