Rutgers University Subpoenaed After Tyler Clementi Death

PHOTO Tyler Clementi, center, took his life by jumping from George Washington Bridge after Molly Wei, left, and Dharun Ravi allegedly recorded him having sexual activity in his dorm room on September 19.
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Rutgers University has been asked by investigators to turn over e-mails exchanged between the institution and Tyler Clementi, the freshman student who leaped to his death after being secretly taped by his roommate.

The New Jersey university was subpoenaed by the Middlesex County prosecutor's office for the e-mails, which may shed light on whether Clementi had requested a room change prior to the videotaping incident that was a precursor to his suicide, officials told ABC News.

A user on a gay website believed to be Clementi mentioned on an online message board that he had requested a new roommate after being spied on with a video camera by his college roommate.

Two students have been charged with invasion of privacy for allegedly streaming Clementi's sexual encounter with another man, and the prosecutor's office is contemplating adding bias charges.

Rutgers spokesman E.J. Miranda said in a statement thats the Rutgers police department and the university are working with the prosecutor's office.

"In some instances a subpoena is required before the university can release confidential student records that are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act," Miranda said.

The school held a town hall meeting Wednesday night to discuss the circumstances of Clementi's death, and Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., told the audience he would introduce federal legislation that would require colleges and universities to adopt a code of conduct that prohibits bullying.

The subpoenas come just a day after lawyers for the two students accused in the privacy breach spoke on behalf of their clients to pledge their innocence.

A lawyer for 18-year-old Dharun Ravi, who was roommates with Clementi, issued a statement urging the public not to "rush to charges" against his client.

"Unfortunately, a life has been lost," said attorney Steven Altman in the statement. "Out of respect to Tyler Clementi's family, this is not the time for explanations of defenses or justifications to be made public by an attorney."

"In regards to statements made by the prosecuting agencies of their continuing investigation and whether to file bias charges against Dharun Ravi, I am heartened to hear that they are taking their time to learn all the facts before rushing to judgment. I can only hope that the public will do the same," wrote Altman. "I am confident that nothing will be learned to justify, warrant or support the filing of any bias criminal complaint."

Tyler Clementi Was Secretly Filmed Days Before His Suicide

Both Ravi and his alleged accomplice, fellow Rutgers freshman Molly Wei, face several privacy invasion charges after allegedly surreptitiously filming Clementi during a "sexual encounter" in his dorm room with a man and then streaming it live on the Internet. If convicted, Ravi and Wei could each face five years in prison.

In the days since Clementi's body was retrieved from New York's Hudson River, the office of Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan has said it was exploring whether to bring more serious charges charges against Ravi and Wei.

A spokesman for Kaplan said that an investigation into whether bias or hate crime charges could be brought against Ravi and Wei was still on going.

And at a news conference earlier this week, Kaplan said, "We need to determine the facts and then determine what the applicable law is."

Wei's attorney released a statement insisting on his client's innocence.

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