An 18-year-old freshman at Rutgers University recently committed suicide after his roommate filmed him having sex with another man in their dorm room.
Tyler Clementi took his own life on Sept. 22 by jumping off the George Washington Bridge spanning the Hudson River, according to ABC News.
The teen gave notice of his intention on his Facebook page by posting: “Jumping off the gw bridge sorry.” Though his body has not been recovered, authorities found his wallet including his driver’s license and freshman ID card near the bridge.
“Tyler was a fine young man, and a distinguished musician. The family is heartbroken beyond words.” Paul Mainardi, the Clementi family’s attorney said in a statement, according to ABCNews. “They respectfully request that they be given time to grieve their great loss and that their privacy at this painful time be respected by all.”
Rutgers University students Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei have been charged with two counts of invasion of privacy for allegedly planting a video camera in Clementi’s room and posting the sexual encounter online on September 10.
Ravi’s Twitter page allegedly contained posts that linked him to the crime, but it has since been taken down. He faces two additional counts of invasion of privacy for viewing and broadcasting another sexual encounter involving Clementi two days prior.
“We grieve for and for his family, friends and classmates as they deal with the tragic loss of a gifted young man who was a strong student and a highly accomplished musician,” Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick said in a statement. “I have spoken with Tyler’s parents to extend my own and the university’s deepest sympathies, and we will continue to respect the family’s request for privacy.”
Ravi and Wei both surrendered to the police following the incident. Wei was released on her own recognizance and Ravi posted a $25,000 bail.
Clementi’s suicide is a possible result of another case of cyber-bullying, which experts say can be even more painful than traditional bullying.
In 2003-2004, i-SAFE America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Internet safety education, surveyed students ages 9 to 13 across the country and found that 42 percent of them have been bullied while online. One in four respondents said that it happened more than once.