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Gay college student commits suicide



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Jesus

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Some gay rights groups are urging that New Jersey's hate crime law be used in the case of the Rutgers student who committed suicide after an intimate encounter with another student was shown on the Internet.

The state's hate crime law is among the strictest in the nation, and it works as most of them do. It's not an offense charged on its own. Instead, it's invoked at sentencing to seek a harsher penalty. The criminal charges filed so far in the case — invasion of privacy — would qualify for a hate crime enhancement, say legal experts in the state.

According to the Middlesex County prosecutor, New Jersey's invasion of privacy statutes make it a crime "to collect or view images depicting nudity or sexual contact involving another individual without that person's consent." It's a separate crime to transmit or distribute those images. The penalty can include a prison term of up to five years.

If the hate crime enhancement were applied, it would raise the maximum penalty to 10 years.

Tyler Clementi, 18, jumped off New York City's George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River last week. His body was identified on Thursday after being found in the river a day before.

Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi, and fellow Rutgers freshman Molly Wei, both 18, have been charged with invading Clementi's privacy. Prosecutors say that they used a webcam to surreptitiously transmit a live image of Clementi having sex Sept. 19 and that Ravi tried to webcast a second encounter on Sept. 21, the day before Clementi's suicide.

As for possible federal charges, a Justice Department official says that's not likely at this point. The federal hate crime law would not apply, the official says, because it requires proof of an intent to cause violence to the victim.

Steven Goldstein, chairman of New Jersey-based Garden State Equality, said in a statement that his group considers Clementi's death a hate crime.

"We are heartbroken over the tragic loss of a young man who, by all accounts, was brilliant, talented and kind," Goldstein said. "And we are sickened that anyone in our society, such as the students allegedly responsible for making the surreptitious video, might consider destroying others' lives as a sport."

Former assistant Essex County prosecutor Luanne Peterpaul, who is vice chairwoman of Garden State Equality, said in order to apply the hate crime law prosecutors would need to establish that the defendants were motivated to act because they perceived Clementi as gay. But that can be hard to prove, she said.

Story: Outrage on campus over student's suicide after sex is broadcast online
Gay rights groups say Clementi's death is the latest example of a long-standing problem: young people who kill themselves because they're bullied about being gay — regardless of whether they are.

In response to Clementi's death and others, the group Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays said it would issue a "call to action" on the topic.

What I think is wierd is why the guy was even spying on him.

For the actual article (even though I copy/pasted it all):
Was Rutgers suicide case a hate crime? - U.S. news - Crime & courts - msnbc.com

Thoughts?
 

Solar

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This actually really hit me and made me feel something for some reason, perhaps all the accumulated hatred towards various groups is becoming much more evident to me.

Regardless, a person's identity is something sacred and the fact that some people take that identity and try to ruin it is absolutely terrible.
 
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Artorius Rex

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I kinda find it a bit overdoing on the kid. He didn't need to kill himself.
 

Turn

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I seriously doubt the dude responsible had a crush on him if he was streaming the video live rather than strictly for himself.

That said, I agree that there may have been some malicious or homophobic intent (he found out his roomy was gay, didn't like it, and set out to humiliate him), but it could just as easily have been intended to be a harmless (though nonetheless cruel) prank all the same. It's hard to say, and ultimately for the courts to decide. Given the limited amount of information we know now, I'd say it could go either way and it wouldn't be a huge travesty.

It's just a shame that the victim lived in a world where his self-esteem was so floundering that he couldn't overcome this.
 

MomentoMori

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its not right but was suicde really necessary? :\

The thing is that the article doesn't mention what happened in the intervening time between the livestream and his suicide. He could have very well been harassed, or maybe his family and friends somehow found about it. It's just one day difference, sure, but stuff like this travels fast on the Internet.
 

Gram

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The thing is that the article doesn't mention what happened in the intervening time between the livestream and his suicide. He could have very well been harassed, or maybe his family and friends somehow found about it. It's just one day difference, sure, but stuff like this travels fast on the Internet.
sadly this^ is true :|
 

Wintertide

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I read about this. Stupid kids these days. I feel bad that he was exploited on the internet but then at the same time the kid was so stupid to commit suicide.
 

AxelYoYo

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I don't know why people do such unbeliebly cruel things. Those guys are only spending five fricken years in prison when they made a guy kill himself. In my opinion, they should stay in jail till death, or at least till they get a death sentence or something. And they recorded him having sex with another man. That's just plain wrong and a breach in their privacy. God, I hate those kind of guys.

And I am really sorry for the guy that comitted suicide. :(
 

Ulti

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I am at odds at what to think. Streaming the video was incredibly terrible of them. Killing himself because of that one video that probably no one gives two shits about? Very stupid. If someone killed himself every time a sex tape was put on the internet, the world would be a lot fewer today. I call bullshit on calling this a "hate crime". You tack on that offense because he was "different". Is every malicious mark against a gay man considered a hate crime?
 
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