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Tyler Clementi Suicide: Rutgers Student Apparently Sought Room Change

Tyler Clementi Suicide: Rutgers Student Sought Room Change
Tyler Clementi (Personal Photo)

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBS/AP) It appears that Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi tried to get school officials to change his dorm room before he leaped to his death from the George Washington Bridge.

PICTURES: Tyler Clementi

The 18-year-old violinist from Ridgewood, N.J. killed himself after, police say, he learned that his roommate had secretly streamed video on the Internet of him in a sexual encounter with another man.

Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi, of Plainsboro, N.J., and another student, and Molly Wei, of Princeton, N.J., both 18, are charged with invasion of privacy. The charge carries a penalty of up to five years in prison if they're convicted.

In an online posting on Sept. 22, Clementi said, "I ran to the nearest RA [residents' assistant] and set this thing in motion....We'll see what happens....He seemed to take it seriously....He asked me to e-mail him a written paragraph about what exactly happened....I e-mailed it to him, and to two people above him."

Rutgers hasn't said how far that request got, CBS News correspondent Jeff Glor reported.

On Friday, students wore black as they signed condolence cards on campus.

Also on Friday, N.J. State Sen. Shirley Turner introduced a bill that would raise the maximum fine for privacy invasion from $15,000 to $150,000 and would hike the possible prison sentence to five to 10 years from the current three to five. Turner says "severe consequences" are needed in cases like this.

Even if the new legislation passes, officials say, Ravi and Wei would face penalties under the current law, but Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan said Thursday that more charges might be possible under New Jersey's hate-crimes law.



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