Dharun Ravi, 20, a former Rutgers University student was convicted of invasion of privacy, anti-gay intimidation and 13 other charges Friday, March 16. Ravi and an accomplice, Molly Wei, used a hidden webcam and remote computer to peep on a sexual encounter of Ravi’s roommate, Tyler Clementi with an unnamed “older man.” (Anti-gay intimidation is a Hate Crime in New Jersey.)
Days after finding out about the recording, Clementi committed suicide leaving his last status update on Facebook, “Jumping off the gw bridge, sorry.”
There is more in the AP account that could pique your interest.
But consider a little change of facts. What would have changed had Clementi’s lover been an “older woman?” I have questions in two areas, the suicide and the criminal charges.
First, would Clementi have committed suicide? Or, at least, would his suicide have been extremely unlikely? Would his last word have been, “sorry?”
The second question is, if this 18 year old lover were videoed in a room with a Rutgers professor in her late 20’s, what charges would have been leveled against Ravi?
We can say with confidence that Mr. Clementi would still be around the Rutgers campus and, if his little role on You Tube came up, he’d respond with a smile and a well practiced retort characterizing himself as being more mature now. We can also be certain that, while Ravi may have faced some charge, it would not have been a felony and he would, like Ms. Wei, see the charges go away without showing up on his record.
This is a clear look at where our culture (and its law) has descended. One last question, please. If you, dear reader, do or think a thing in the privacy of darkness only to have the light pour in unexpectedly, do you also say, “Sorry.” And do you have that relationship where there is One to respond, “Forgiven.”