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Student who filmed roommate having sex with another man faces 15 charges

The man faces charges after secretly streaming footage of his roommate sleeping with another man on the internet. His 18-year-old roommate took his own life after learning about what had happened.

 Dharun Ravi
Dharun Ravi
Image: Press Association Images

AN AMERICAN UNIVERSITY student who set up a webcam to spy on his roommate having sex with another man – and then streamed the live footage online – is to go on trial on 15 counts.

The roommate who was filmed, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, took his own life last year after learning about what had happened. Clementi, a talented violinist, had not yet come out as a gay man at the time of the incident.

Former Rutgers University freshman, Dharun Ravi, has been charged with bias intimidation – specifically because Clementi was gay – and other charges connected to Clementi’s suicide. Prosecutors say that Ravi’s friend, Molly Wei, was an accomplice to the incident, Time magazine reports.

Prosecutors allege that as well as invading Clementi’s privacy, Ravi also tried to cover up his actions following his roommate’s suicide. Ravi faces charges of witness and evidence tampering for allegedly destroying evidence, as well as sending false tweets in an effort to trick investigators.

Both he and Wei previously faced invasion of privacy charges, and both could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

Clementi’s tragic death highlighted the issue of college homophobia last year – and many LGBT student groups have said that prejudice against students on the basis of their sexuality is rampant.

The Associated Press reports that Clementi’s suicide was one of a string of such deaths by young people who were gay or perceived to be gay.

Read more: Student jumps to death after being ‘outed’ online >

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