Answered: Bonus tray scoring

We had some robots release the bonus tray at the last second and because their robot was right beside the tray some of the rings were still touching the tray. While I gave them credit as this was a scrimmage, I presume that the tray was not emptied as there were still rings touching the tray. Is this correct?

If there are any rings touching the bonus tray at the end of the match, for any reason, should the tray count as not empty?

The August 17th manual update included a revision to the definition of Released, quoted here for reference:

The Bonus Tray is Released when both Latches have been activated and its Rings have begun moving towards the field due only to gravity (i.e. not due to contact with a Robot mechanism).

As such, the scenario you have described would still be considered Released.