Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi, center, who is accused of using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate's love life and faces up to 10 years in jail and deportation to India, leaves court in New Brunswick, New Jersey. AP/Mel Evans
With Indian-origin student Dharun Ravi convicted in the webcam spying case, the family of his Rutgers roommate Tyler Clementi, who had committed suicide, say the case brought pain to many people and should serve as an example that others should be treated with respect.
Ravi, 20, was found guilty by a jury on Friday on all 15 charges of bias intimidation, invasion of privacy and witness tampering that he faced for spying on Clementi's sexual encounter with his male partner.
Clementi's partner identified as MB, who was among the 30 witnesses to testify in the trial, issued a statement calling the verdict "just." MB said "for him to heal within and be a better person the redemption would have to begin and end within his own mind and heart.
"But we must be mindful that when one person truly hurts another, society must have the right to demand justice for all. And if that means that Ravi should be reminded that his type of conduct must be deterred, then so be it."
Clementi had committed suicide in September 2010 after he found out that Ravi had seen him kissing another man, known in court records only as MB, and had then texted his other friends to watch the encounter online.
Ravi will be sentenced on May 21 and faces a possible 10 year prison term and subsequent deportation to India. Ravi sat expressionless in a packed
New Jersey courtroom as the jury read out its verdict in the case, which has generated massive interest across the country and was being closely followed by the American media. Ravi's attorney Steven Altman has said he plans to appeal in the case.
After Ravi's conviction Joe Clementi, the father of Tyler Clementi, read a statement to reporters in which he thanked the prosecutor's office for remaining sensitive to the family's concerns ensured the privacy of his son and his friend MB was protected.
"The trial was painful for us, as it would be for any parent who must sit and listen to people talk about bad and inappropriate things that were done to their child," Clementi, accompanied by his wife, Jane and son James, said.
"We were here every day because we wanted to be here for our son and because we believe the trial was important because it dealt with important issues for our society and for our young people today."
He said his message to young people in college and high school is that "You're going to meet a lot of people in your lifetime. Some of these people you may not like. But just because you don't like them, does not mean you have to work against them. When you see somebody doing something wrong, tell them, "That's not right. Stop it."
"You can make the world a better place. The change you want to see in the world begins with you," he added.
The family set up a foundation in their son's name and hoped that the attention the case has got will help their efforts to sensitise young people "in the important areas of respect, privacy, responsibility in a digital world."
MB said the case has caused much hurt to too many innocent people. "Tyler was a good person and seeing his family go through the tortures of the trial was painful," he said.
He said he had hoped that a trial could have been avoided but it was Ravi's decision to defend himself in court and now "he will have to live with it."
He added that even though he had testified in the case, he bore no malice or hatred toward Ravi.