Dharun Ravi was just found guilty of invasion of privacy and bias intimidation charges in the New Jersey Rutgers University webcam spying case, and guilty of some of the hate crimes charges. Ravi was acquitted of some of the more serious bias intimidation charges, including bias intimidation because of sexual intimidation against the man who had visited Â his gay roommate, Tyler Clementi in his room.
Ravi was accused of spying on his gay roommate, freshman Tyler Clementi, and sharing the video with others, after recording several intimate encounters of Clementi and another man, who was not identified publicly. In 2010, after learning of the spying, Clementi died by suicide, by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.
Ravi was charged not with the death of Clementi but with bias and invasion of privacy. Ravi faces up to ten years in prison.
Ravi faced a total of 15 charges, including four counts of hate crime bias intimidation, two counts of invasion of privacy, two counts of attempted invasion of privacy and six counts of witness tampering and hindering apprehension. He was found guilty of a majority of the charges.
Sentencing will be on May 21, 2012. Ravi is 20 years old, and faces 10 years in jail, and possible deportation as he is not a U.S. citizen. he will remain free on bail, having surrendered his passport.
The APÂ adds:
Clementi’s death was one in a string of suicides by young gays around the country in September 2010. President Barack Obama commented on it, as did talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.
New Jersey lawmakers hastened passage of an anti-bullying law because of the case, and Rutgers changed its housing policies to allow opposite-sex roommates in an effort to make gay, bisexual and transgender students feel more comfortable.
Testimony came from about 30 witnesses over 12 days, including the man seen kissing Clementi. The 32-year-old man was identified in court only by the initials M.B. Ravi himself did not testify, though the jury watched a video of his interrogation by police.
Ravi and Clementi, both 18-year-old freshmen from comfortable New Jersey suburbs, had been randomly assigned to room together at Rutgers, and Clementi had arrived at college just a few days after coming out to his parents as gay.
A string of students testified they never heard Ravi say anything bad about gays in general or Clementi in particular. But students did say Ravi expressed some concern about sharing a room with a gay man.
On Sept. 19, according to testimony, Clementi asked Ravi to leave their room so that he could have a guest. Later, Ravi posted on Twitter: “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”
Ravi told police that he viewed only seconds of the encounter via computer.
His friend Molly Wei testified that she and a few other students also watched the live stream of the men kissing. (Wei was initially charged in the case but was later accepted into a pretrial program that will allow her to keep her record clean.)
Two nights later, Clementi asked for the room alone again. This time, Ravi tweeted: “I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes, it’s happening again.” Ravi also texted a friend about a planned “viewing party” and, two students said, went to friends’ dorm rooms to show them how to access the feed.
However, there was no evidence the webcam was turned on that night. Ravi told police he had put his computer to sleep. Prosecutors argued Clementi himself unplugged the computer.
According to testimony, Clementi submitted a room-change request form and talked to a resident assistant about what happened. He also used his laptop to view Ravi’s Twitter site 38 times in the last two days of his life. He killed himself on Sept. 22.
The Atlantic Wire adds:
The case became a touchstone in the movement to combat gay bullying, and it’s generated tons of interest in the press, unsurprising as it touches on so many hot topic issues from bullying to privacy and technology to hate crimes.Ian Parker’s must-readÂ New YorkerÂ piece from last monthÂ detailed the relationship between the two roommates, revealing an incredibly complex story and demonstrating the difficulty ofÂ understandingÂ just what wentÂ throughÂ either of their heads and how much the role of “bias” actually played in Ravi’s actions.
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Acting Speaker McHenry Did Not Have Authority to Evict Pelosi Says Top Rules Committee Democrat
U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Kevin McCarthy’s hand-picked temporary successor and acting Speaker, operated outside of carefully crafted House rules when he evicted Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, the former Democratic Majority Leader, from their Capitol Hill offices just hours after Republicans ousted McCarthy as Speaker.
That’s according to the top Democrat on the powerful House Rules Committee, Ranking Member Jim McGovern (D-MA), who previously served as the Chair of the Rules Committee. He says the “Speaker pro tempore” has one job only: help elect a new Speaker of the House.
“I want to clear up some confusion,” McGovern wrote late Wednesday afternoon.
“As an unelected acting Speaker pro tempore, @PatrickMcHenry’s job is to guide the House toward the election of a new Speaker. That’s it.”
“His power is constrained by the plain text of Rule 1, Clause 8 of the Rules of the House,” said McGovern.
Rep. McGovern said he is “alarmed” by McHenry’s order evicting Pelosi and Hoyer.
“Given the plain text of the rule, I don’t think he has that power,” McGovern added.
McGovern further explained, “The rule says he can only exercise as much authority as is ‘necessary and appropriate’ towards the end of electing a Speaker. The Rules Committee narrowly described this rule in 2004: an acting Speaker pro tempore serves ‘for the sole purpose of electing a new Speaker.'”
“These rules were put into place after 9/11 to ensure continuity of government & quick election of a new Speaker in an emergency. Not to provide for a short-term Speaker due to Republican dysfunction,” concluded McGovern, who has served in Congress since 1997.
‘My Job Is Not to Put Pool Noodles Around Hard Corners for Republicans’: AOC Blasts Critics Over McCarthy Vote
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blasted critics across the political spectrum who are angered House Democrats did not vote to keep Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, after Republicans ousted him on Tuesday.
“Contrary to how McCarthy’s defenders are behaving, men failing up is not a Constitutionally protected right,” Ocasio-Cortez said on social media. “The man made risky decisions and faced the natural consequences of them. I am not his mom, and my job is not to put pool noodles around hard corners for Republicans.”
AOC also blasted 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who is now a former Democrat, after he criticized Democrats on CNN.
“Why did Dems vote along party lines to oust Kevin McCarthy? Not because they thought it was good for the country but because that’s what they were told to do,” Yang said on social media when posting his remarks.
“Yes,” Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez responded, “because strengthening someone who voted to overturn the election, held the entire US economy hostage, launched a baseless impeachment inquiry without a vote, and refuses to honor his word is what is in the best interest of this country.”
“Do some of you hear yourselves?” she asked rhetorically.
Tuesday night she also defended Democrats for not, as some have put it, “saving” McCarthy.
“Does anyone believe for one minute that McCarthy would help elect a Dem speaker ‘for the institution’?” she asked. “McCarthy’s hubris is a theme. He loudly stated he wouldn’t negotiate w/Dems, called virtually none, trashed those who helped w/CR, and then expected Dem votes for free?”
Karine Jean-Pierre Schools Peter Doocy for Asking if White House Is ‘Loving’ GOP House Chaos
In the middle of an interview with U.S Senator John Kennedy, Fox News interrupted the Louisiana Republican for some “breaking news,” as the right wing cable network’s Peter Doocy began to ask White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the chaos far-right wing Republicans caused by ousting Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday.
“All right. Senator, thank you for joining us. We got a little bit of breaking news here. We got to jump back to the briefing. Our Peter Doocy is questioning the Press Secretary,” John Roberts told viewers as the camera cut to the White House Press Briefing Room.
“Is any part of the West Wing here, just loving the fact that Republicans don’t appear to be able to govern the one part of the government that they actually control?” Doocy asked.
“Nobody’s ‘loving’ anything when it’s when we’re not when we’re not able to deliver for the American people. Nobody’s loving that,” Jean-Pierre replied, as she explained to Doocy what the White House believes is actually important.
“It is important for Congress to work, not for us, but on behalf of the American people. It is important to make sure that we meet the challenges of the American people. That’s what’s important. What we saw, you heard from the President, what we saw on Saturday should have never have happened, but we’re glad that a deal was made. We’re glad that we’re not in a shutdown. But House Republicans should have never gotten us that far.”
Jean-Pierre went on to tell Doocy that since Republicans “are the majority in the House, they can fix this.”
“They’re creating the chaos. That is not helpful to the American people.”
“That’s why you saw the President today talk about student debt relief, and talk about what else he’s doing to make sure that we’re giving a little bit of breathing room to the American people. That’s why you heard from the President yesterday talking about or our announcement, talking about how we’re continuing to beat Big Pharma so we can lower prescription drug costs for the American people. That’s what the President cares about. That’s what he wants to see – what can we continue to do to help Americans as they face really tough challenges? So this is not, we’re not loving it. It is not helpful to any any American across the country.”
Doocy, went on to ask if “anybody in the West Wing has heard anybody talking about the possibility of ‘Speaker Trump.'”
Watch below or at this link.
Fox News cuts off interview with senator for “breaking news,” which is Peter Doocy asking KJP the following questions:
– is the West Wing “loving the fact” that the GOP doesn’t appear able to govern the House?
– are you guys talking about a possible Speaker Trump? pic.twitter.com/Csr2E2CYI5
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) October 4, 2023
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