It’s been nearly six years since 18-year-old college student Tyler Clementi committed suicide due to bullying.
New Jersey appeals court overturned the conviction of Dharun Ravi.
The court has also ordered a new trial for the former Rutgers University student – who was found guilty four years ago of invasion of privacy and bias intimidation after secretly filming roommate Tyler Clementi’s romantic encounters with another man, days before Clementi killed himself.
Ravi was convicted in 2012 on 15 counts. A three-judge panel threw those out because of a change in state law made after he was convicted. That change concerned the bias intimidation law, which the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional.
He will now get a new trial.
Although the appeals court overturned Ravi’s conviction, the judges were critical of what he’d done stating:
“The social environment that transformed a private act of sexual intimacy into a grotesque voyeuristic spectacle must be unequivocally condemned in the strongest possible way. The fact that this occurred in a university dormitory, housing first-year college students, only exacerbates our collective sense of disbelief and disorientation. All of the young men and women who had any association with this tragedy must pause to reflect and assess whether this experience has cast an indelible moral shadow on their character.”
Tyler’s parents Joe and Jane Clementi have already issued a statement regarding the overturned conviction, saying:
“[This just] shows us how much more work there is to be done, and will push us forward with stronger determination to create a kinder more empathetic society where every person is valued and respected. We know that Tyler’s private moments were stolen from him and used to humiliate him. His life was forever affected and the lives of those who knew and loved him have been forever changed. We will continue to work even harder sharing Tyler’s story through the Tyler Clementi Foundation and our many partners.”