The Full Story: Tragedy struck New Jersey's Rutgers University just as the fall semester began. In the end, one freshman was dead and two others were accused of crimes that could result in prison terms of up to five years. The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office charged Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, both 18 years old, with invasion of privacy. They were accused of secretly recording and transmitting footage of Ravi's roommate, Tyler Clementi, during a sexual encounter. Ravi also allegedly sent a tweet on his Twitter account noting that he and Wei had seen Clementi "making out with a dude." Clementi's subsequent suicide "gained international attention as an example of cyberbullying and gay bashing," according to The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.
What's Happened Since? After being charged with invasion of privacy, Wei was released on her own recognizance and Ravi was released on $25,000 bail. They both left Rutgers. Had they stayed, they would have faced disciplinary action. The New York Daily News reports that Ravi has transferred to another (undisclosed) school and that Wei is studying to take the SATs again in the hope of returning to Rutgers. The incident helped inspire a national Spirit Day on Oct. 20. Organizers urged people to wear purple on that day to raise awareness of anti-gay bullying.
In Their Own Words (Or, Rather, In the Words of Their Attorneys): "When the forensic evidence from all the seized computers is revealed, the truth will come out," Steve Altman, Ravi's attorney, told The Star-Ledger. "Nothing was transmitted beyond one computer and what was seen was only viewed for a matter of seconds." Added Rubin Sinins, Wei's attorney, "I'm unaware of any evidence of sexual contact" on the Internet broadcast. Sinins added: "The statute defining sexual contact refers to nudity and private parts, and, to my knowledge, nothing like that was seen. I'm also unaware of any evidence that any video was recorded, reproduced, or disseminated in any way."
More 16th Minutes of Fame
Capri Anderson, Charlie Sheen's Porn-Star Gal Pal
Mary Bale, the Woman Who Put a Cat in the Trash
Anna Chapman, the Redheaded Russian Spy
Antoine Dodson, the 'Bed Intruder' Viral Superstar
Gary Faulkner, Osama bin Laden Hunter
Tony Hayward, the BP Exec Who Wanted His Life Back
Colton Harris-Moore, the Barefoot Bandit
Terry Jones, the Would-Be Koran-Burning Preacher
Jessie Lunderby, Sexy Jailer Fired Over Playboy Photos
Jimmy McMillan, the 'Rent Is Too Damn High' Guy
Isaiah Mustafa, the Old Spice Guy
Christine O'Donnell, Not-a-Witch Senate Candidate
'General' Larry Platt, 'Pants on the Ground' Rapper
Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, Alleged Rutgers Cyberbullies
Juan Rodriguez, the Obama Rally Streaker
Ines Sainz, Sports Reporter Harassed by New York Jets
Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square Bomber
Rupesh Shingadia, Tiger Woods' 'Cigar Guy'
Steven Slater, the Runaway Jet Blue Flight Attendant
Bethany Storro, Acid-in-the-Face Hoaxtress
Abby Sunderland, Teenage Solo Sailor
Tilikum, the SeaWorld Killer Whale Who Killed His Trainer
John Tyner, the Don't 'Touch My Junk' Guy
Paul 'Bear' Vasquez, 'Double Rainbow' Video Guy