Joe Clementi accompanied by family says thanks to authorities. Just after Dharun Ravi’s conviction Friday on hate-crime charges, Tyler Clementi’s father and family make their statement to the public. What he said?
Statements by Tyler Clementi’s Father and Unnamed Victim
After Dharun Ravi’s conviction Friday on hate-crime charges, Joe Clementi, the father of Tyler Clementi, made the following statement to reporters. Tyler Clementi, 18 years old, committed in 2010 suicide shortly after discovering that Ravi, his Rutgers University roommate, had used a webcam to spy on his romantic encounters with another man.
Joe Clementi was accompanied by his wife, Jane, and their son, James:
Good afternoon, everyone. On behalf of the family and our supporters, I’d like to thank Judge Berman, who presided over the process in a firm but restrained way that maintained the dignity of the court while preserving the rights of the press, and for his sensitivity to the need to protect the privacy of the victims.
Thanks to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office for their investigation and presentation of the case, especially to First Assistant Julia McClure, who not only prepared and presented the case thoroughly but who was very sensitive to our concerns and our feelings and took great care to protect the privacy of our son and his friend, M.B.
And of course, thank you to the folks at the victims advocacy unit [actual name appears to be the Victim Advocacy Center] who took care of all of our needs during this stressful time.
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. 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 and because of worldwide media attention that was brought to it. The criminal law is important because it deals with conduct that we find so bad, that we make it a crime.
We have come to understand that the criminal law is only one way of addressing these problems and that there are other ways that are better, particularly when it comes to changing the values and behavior of young people in [the] important areas of respect, privacy, responsibility in a digital world.
As you know, our lives have taken a new turn, and we’re on a mission to address these issues in an affirmative way through the Tyler Clementi Foundation, which we have set up in memory of our son. We hope that the media attention will not fade and that positive efforts on these important issues will be acknowledged. Just a word about personal responsibility.
To our college, high school and even middle-school youngsters, I would say this: 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.
We will be issuing a statement regarding the results of the trial in the near future via press release. I thank you for your attention.
The unnamed victim and witness in the case, identified in court documents only as “M.B.,” released the following statement through his attorney at 4:30 p.m. He was the man observed on camera during dorm-room encounters with Tyler Clementi.
I am pleased that the jury returned a just verdict in this case. I had hoped for all concerned that a trial could have been avoided but that was not my choice. It was Mr. Ravi’s decision, and now he will have to live with it.
There has been so much hurt caused to too many innocent people. Tyler was a good person and seeing his family go through the tortures of the trial was painful. For all of my life I have been known to the world by my name. That simple luxury was taken away from me as my identity became reduced to simply, M.B. in order to protect the privacy of myself and my family.
When I learned of Tyler’s death, it bothered me terribly that perhaps there had been something I could have done or said to him that would have changed the course of events. I will never have that chance nor will his family or other friends who saw him differently than Mr. Ravi did.
I testified in this case because I was required to do so. I bore no malice or hatred toward Mr. Ravi; however, having to come to court and testify under very intimidating circumstances reopened the wounds that will take a very long time to heal. Nevertheless, I will heal and I attribute much of my optimism to the way I was treated by the members of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s office. Julia McClure and her prosecution team gave to me the respect and dignity that will enable me to move forward.
As far as punishment for Mr. Ravi is concerned, I have always believed that 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 Mr. Ravi should be reminded that his type of conduct must be deterred, then so be it. (The Wall Street Journal)