Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei were old pals who came to Rutgers University together—and classmates can’t fathom how the friends went from the socially tolerant halls of their New Jersey high school to a controversy in which they are accused of recording and broadcasting Tyler Clementi’s gay sexual encounter. “This kind of taunting would not have been condoned or accepted” at their alma mater, one of the state’s best public schools, a former class president tells the Daily Beast.
Ravi comes from a computer technician’s family and Wei from a chemical engineer’s; their families have contributed to campaigns on both political sides. Now, both students face invasion of privacy charges and possibly more—the prosecutor and police chief say they are looking for “probable cause to bring additional charges,” including “whether bias played a role in the incident.” That seems to indicate that those “additional charges” could be hate crime charges. A Facebook page calling for manslaughter charges has more than 8,000 fans.
(Read more hate crime stories.)