Saturday 27 May 2017

Sex tape student jumps from bridge

Students have spoken of their shock after a teenager committed suicide a day after two classmates secretly recorded him having sex with a man and broadcast it over the internet.

Tyler Clementi, 18, a student at New Jersey's Rutgers University, jumped from the George Washington Bridge last week, said his family's lawyer, Paul Mainardi.

Police recovered a body in the Hudson River on Wednesday night and authorities were trying to determine if it was Mr Clementi.

ABC News and The Star-Ledger of Newark reported that Mr Clementi left a note on his Facebook page on September 22 that read: "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry." Yesterday, his Facebook page was accessible only to friends.

Two Rutgers students have been charged with illegally taping Mr Clementi having sex and broadcasting the images via an internet chat programme.

Steven Goldstein, chairman of gay rights group Garden State Equality, said his group considered Mr Clementi's death a hate crime.

"We are heartbroken over the tragic loss of a young man who, by all accounts, was brilliant, talented and kind," Mr Goldstein said. "And we are sickened that anyone in our society, such as the students allegedly responsible for making the surreptitious video, might consider destroying others' lives as a sport."

On the Rutgers campus in New Brunswick, there was dismay over Mr Clementi's death and the circumstances that led to it.

"As a dorm we're really angry," said student Jordan Gochman, 19. "The notion that video of Tyler doing what he was doing can be considered a spectacle is just heinous. It's intolerant, it's upsetting, it makes it seem that being gay is something that is wrong and can be considered laughable."

One of the defendants, Dharun Ravi, was Mr Clementi's roommate, Mr Mainardi told The Star-Ledger. The other defendant is Molly Wei. Ravi and Wei could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

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