NBCPhiladelphia.com - Doug Shimell
The suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi has a sobering ripple effect on local college students. Two students face charges for putting a secret sex tape of Clementi and another man on the internet.
His body was identified Thursday after being found in the river a day before.
According to The Star-Ledger, Clementi left a note on his Facebook page on Sept. 22 that read "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry."
Wednesday afternoon, Clementi’s family confirmed the suicide in a released statement.
NYPD harbor officers recovered the body of a white man, clad only in pants, wearing a watch and without identification after a
New York City Parks Department employee spotted a body floating in the Hudson, police said.
The body was taken to the city medical examiner's office, where officials confirmed it was Clementi.
Police believe that the suicide was linked to an incident in which Clementi's roommate and a woman allegedly secretly videotaped Clementi in a sexual encounter with another man and sent out a live-stream of it on the Internet.
Ravi faces another two counts of invasion of privacy for allegedly using the hidden camera to tape Clementi in a previous encounter two days before the second one was released on the Internet, according to authorities.
Investigators have not determined how the live feed was broadcast. However, Ravi’s twitter page, which has been taken down, provided some clues.
“Roommate asked for room again. Its happening again. People with iChat don’t you dare video chat me from 930 to 12,” Ravi posted Sept. 22, according to WNBC.
Ravi had also posted on Sept. 19, “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into Molly’s room and turned on my web cam. I saw him making out with a dude, Yay.”
Both suspects surrendered to police. Wei was released on her own recognizance while Ravi posted $25,000 bail.
The investigation began after police found Clementi's car, cellphone and computer last week near the George Washington Bridge, according to The Star-Ledger.
While Police are still investigating, Steven Goldstein, chairman of the gay rights group Garden State Equality, said in a statement Wednesday that his group considers 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,'' 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.''
Rutgers President Richard McCormick released a statement about Clementi's death:
The Rutgers University community is in mourning over the death of first-year student Tyler Clementi. We grieve for him and for his family, friends and classmates as they deal with the tragic loss of a gifted young man who was a strong student and a highly accomplished musician. I have spoken with Tyler’s parents to extend my own and the university’s deepest sympathies, and we will continue to respect the family’s request for privacy. It is up to us at Rutgers to honor this young man’s life by reaffirming, and living up to, our commitment to the values of civility, dignity, compassion and respect for one another.
Ed Schmiedecke, the recently retired music director at Ridgewood High School, where Clementi graduated earlier this year, said
Clementi was a violinist whose life revolved around music.
"He was a terrific musician, and a very promising, hardworking young man."
Paul Manardi, the Clementi family's attorney also issued a statement.
"Tyler was a fine young man, and a distinguished musician," said Mainardi. "The family is heartbroken beyond words."