Saturday, May 7, 2011

Deal Reached in Rutgers Case

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A former Rutgers University student who spied on fellow freshman Tyler Clementi as he had a dorm-room encounter with another man was allowed to enter a program Friday that could help her avoid criminal charges.

Associated Press

Molly Wei, a former Rutgers student charged with invading the privacy of Tyler Clementi, in court Friday in New Brunswick.

Molly Wei appeared in court in New Brunswick, N.J., where it was announced she would be accepted into a pretrial intervention program.

Mr. Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi, is alleged to have activated a webcam in their room and then watched in a separate room with Ms. Wei as Mr. Clementi kissed a man he had invited to the Piscataway dormitory.

Mr. Clementi discovered the breach, and on Sept. 22, he jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge.

Mr. Ravi and Ms. Wei, both 18 at the time of the incident, were subsequently charged with two counts of invasion of privacy in a case that drew international attention.

The case against Mr. Ravi later was broadened to include bias intimidation and other charges.

If Ms. Wei completes 300 hours of community service and counseling, the criminal charges will be dismissed, according to prosecutors. She is cooperating in the case against Mr. Ravi.

Mr. Clementi's father, Joe, read a statement in court. He said he and his wife approved the deal because "appropriate probation conditions" were imposed.

"Actions have consequence," the statement read. "We wish that Ms. Wei will become a person who will make better decisions, will help people and show kindness to those she comes in contact with."

Ms. Wei dropped out of Rutgers shortly after Mr. Clementi killed himself. Ms. Wei's attorney, Rubin Sinins, declined to say if she is attending another school.

Mr. Sinins said that Ms. Wei's "sympathies have remained with the Clementi family" but that her role in the incident was distorted. He said they will endeavor to "restore Molly's reputation, which has been unjustly tarnished."

Mr. Ravi's attorney, Steven Altman, said any testimony from Ms. Wei will help exonerate his client. "This case had nothing to bias, and Ms. Wei's testimony will clearly support that," Mr. Altman said.

Write to Sean Gardiner at

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