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Tyler Clementi Suicide: Additional Charges Possible for Rutgers Students

Dharun Ravi (right), the former Rutgers University student accused of using a webcam to spy on roommate Tyler Clementi's intimate encounter with another man, rejected a plea deal on Dec. 9 that would have kept him out of jail. Ravi's lawyer, Steven Altman, says the 19-year-old rejected the deal because, "He's innocent. He's not guilty."
CBS/Personal Photo
Tyler Clementi Suicide: Additional Charges Possible for Rutgers Students
From Left to Right: Molly Wei, Tyler Clementi, Dharun Ravi (CBS/Personal Photo)

NEW YORK (CBS/WCBS) New Jersey prosecutors are contemplating whether to  file more charges against the two Rutgers University freshmen accused of broadcasting on the Internet video of fellow freshman Tyler Clementi having sex with another man.

PICTURES: Tyler Clementi

After the online broadcast, Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge to his death.

Dharun Ravi, Clementi's roommate, and Molly Wei, were each charged with two counts of invasion of privacy last week. The state's Attorney General, Paula Dow, said investigators were exploring adding hate crime charges; however, the current New Jersey law may not adequately address the circumstances behind Clementi's death, according to CBS station WCBS.

"Most importantly, I think we're looking at examining the facts," Dow said

Middlesex County prosecutors say the pair, both 18, used a webcam to secretly transmit a live image of Clementi having sex with a man on Sept. 19 and that Ravi tried to webcast a second encounter on Sept. 21, the day before Clementi's suicide.

"I'm unaware of any case in New Jersey where the homicide statutes have been used to hold somebody responsible for somebody else who chose to commit suicide," Middlesex Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said.

Kaplan said he would rather be "right" than "expedient" when asked whether there would be a specific timeline for bringing additional charges.

Under New Jersey's privacy law it is a crime to transmit or even view images that depict nudity or sexual contact with an individual without that person's consent, reports WCBS. Collecting or viewing sexual images without consent is a fourth-degree crime. Transmitting them is a third-degree crime with a maximum prison sentence of five years.

Both Ravi and Wei could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

Students at the Rutgers Newark campus remembered Clementi, an exceptional violinist, with a candlelight vigil Sunday.

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