2 Rutgers Students Secretly Livestream Another Having Sex: Cops

Two 18-year-olds charged with invasion of privacy

Wednesday, Sep 29, 2010  |  Updated 10:36 AM EDT
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Two Rutgers students are accused of secretly broadcasting another student's sexual encounter on the Internet.

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Rutgers may be the largest public university in New Jersey, but allegations against two freshmen in the school imply a need for a lesson in class.

Dharun Ravi, of Plainsboro, and Molly Wei, of Princeton, both 18, each face two counts of invasion of privacy for secretly placing a camera in another 18-year-old student's dorm room and livestreaming that student's sexual encounter on the Internet.  

Authorities say Ravi faces another two counts of invasion of privacy for allegedly trying to use the hidden camera to tape the same victim in a previous encounter two days before the second one hit the web.

Wei surrendered to campus cops in New Brunswick on Monday and was released on her own recognizance. Ravi turned himself in Tuesday and was released on $25,000 bail.

College police initially launched an investigation after finding out a hidden camera had been placed in the victim's Piscataway dorm room without permission. Police later filed charges against Wei and Ravi.

It wasn't immediately clear where or how the live feed was broadcast, and investigators took strict precautions to protect the identity of the victim. But on his Twitter feed, Ravi vaguely refers to an internet instant messaging service that includes live video streams called iChat, according to NJ.com.

"Roommate asked for room again. Its happening again. People with iChat don't you dare video chat me from 930 to 12," NJ.com reports Ravi posted Sept. 22, the day after cops say he tried to livestream, for the second time, one of the victim's sexual encounters. The website reports Ravi's Twitter page, which apparently has been taken down, has 150 followers. 

A lawyer for Ravi declined requests for comment. It wasn't immediately clear if Wei, a first year pharmacy student at Rutgers' Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, had an attorney.

Rutgers spokeswoman Sandra Lanman said the college is taking the situation seriously.

"The university takes these matters seriously and has policies to deal with student behavior," Lanman said in a statement.

According to New Jersey law, illegally collecting or viewing images showing sexual contact involving another individual without that individual's consent is a fourth-degree crime. It's a third-degree crime to transmit or distribute such images. The penalty for the latter offense carries a possible prison term of up to five years.

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