According to Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan, freshmen students Dharun Ravi, 18, of Plainsboro, N.J., and Molly Wei, 18, of Princeton, N.J., have been charged with two counts each of invasion of privacy for using a camera to view and transmit a live image of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi on Sept. 19. Clementi, a resident of Ridgewood, N.J., was a freshman at the university and Ravi's roommate.
Ravi has also been charged with two additional counts of invasion of privacy for allegedly attempting to use the camera to view and transmit another encounter involving Clementi on Sept. 21.
Rutgers police said their probe began after they learned that a camera had been placed in a student's dorm room without his permission.
Clementi is believed to have jumped off the George Washington Bridge on Thursday. His wallet was found on the bridge and his car was located nearby.
"Jumping off the gw bridge sorry," he wrote on his Facebook page on Sept. 22, according to WPIX-TV and The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.
Through a statement issued by a lawyer, his family confirmed Clementi had committed suicide.
"Tyler was a fine young man and a distinguished musician. The family is heartbroken beyond words. 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," the Clementi family said.
"The family and their representatives are cooperating fully with the ongoing criminal investigations of two Rutgers University students," the statement said.
Members of the New York Police Department Harbor Unit today recovered the body of a man wearing only pants and a watch, WABC-TV said.
The station said investigators suspect Clementi committed suicide after he learned about the Internet broadcast.
Authorities have yet to comment on where the live feed was broadcast, but The Star-Ledger cited a Twitter profile that Ravi allegedly uses in which a poster mentioned the instant message/live feed service iChat on Sept. 22.
"Roommate asked for room again. Its happening again. People with iChat don't you dare video chat me from 930 to 12," the message read.
A similar tweet, posted on Sept. 19, reads, "Roommate asked for room till midnight. I went into Molly's room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay."
The Star-Ledger said that Ravi and Wei attended Windsor-Plainsboro High School North before enrolling at Rutgers less than a month ago.
Rutgers spokeswoman Sandra Lanman said in a statement that the two students could face disciplinary action. "The university takes these matters seriously and has policies to deal with student behavior," Lanman said.
Calls to Ravi's lawyer, Steven Altman, were not returned, and e-mail messages to Wei were not answered today. At this time, it remains unclear whether Wei is being represented by an attorney.
Under New Jersey's invasion-of-privacy statutes, it is a fourth-degree crime to collect or view images depicting nudity or sexual contact involving another individual without that person's consent, and it is a third-degree crime to transmit or distribute such images. The penalty for conviction of a third-degree offense can include a prison term of up to five years, Kaplan's office said in a press release.
James O'Neill, a public relations officer for the prosecutor's office, declined to comment on whether Ravi or Wei could face additional charges if Clementi's suicide is positively linked to their alleged actions. Steve Cron, a veteran criminal defense attorney in Santa Monica, Calif., told AOL News that it is unlikely they will be charged in relation to it.
"No, I don't see how they could," Cron said. "Even if they could prove it -- for instance [they find] a note saying, 'I did it because of that videotape' -- that is not admissible in court. I don't see how they could ever prosecute and say that because they did that, it was foreseeable that they should have known that this was going to happen."
But Cron said he doubts a judge will go easy on Ravi and Wei.
"I say that only because there is a lot of publicity," Cron said. "A judge is going to want to send out the word [that] you can't do that, [and] there are consequences. This is a dangerous thing, and everybody needs to be aware of the consequences of what they are doing."
Ravi is free on $25,000 bail, and Wei is free on her own recognizance. There is no word yet on when they will make their next court appearance.