Fifth Gay Teen Suicide in Three Weeks Sparks Debate

As mourners were honoring Tyler Clementi, news came of a fifth suicide.

ByABC News
October 3, 2010, 1:04 PM

Oct. 3, 2010— -- Mourners at Rutgers University honored the memory of Tyler Clementi, whose death last week was one of five suicides by gay teenagers in the last three weeks.

Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge Tuesday, days after his roommate allegedly posted video on the Internet of him having sex with another man.

The recent eruption of gay teen suicides has been across the country, from the East Coast to Indiana, Texas to California, where 13-year-old Seth Walsh, who recently hanged himself, was memorialized Friday night.

Walsh, whose family said he was harassed by bullies for being gay, died Tuesday, after being in a coma for nine days.

"The harassment and the teasing and the taunting just became too much," Seth's grandmother, Judly Walsh said Friday night at a memorial service in Tehachapi, Calif.

Police interviewed some of the young people who taunted Seth the day he died, but determined that their actions do not constitute a crime.

In Clementi's case, the young man's roommate, Dharun Ravi, and another classmate, Molly Wei, face several charges of invasion of privacy for what prosecutors say was a surreptitious filming of Clementi in his own dorm room, a recording that they then allegedly broadcast live on the Internet.

New Jersey law enforcement officials have said they are still investigating the case, trying to determine whether they can pursue more serious charges against Ravi and Wei.

Lawyers for Ravi and Wei have not returned messages left by ABC News but Ravi's attorney, Steve Altman, told the New Jersey Star-Ledger that he does not think his client can be held criminally responsible for Clementi's death.

In another recent case, Raymond Chase, an openly gay 19-year-old student at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., hanged himself in his dorm room Wednesday.