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Jury begins deliberations in webcam spying trial of Rutgers’ student

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — A jury on Wednesday concluded their first day of deliberations on whether Dharun Ravi committed a hate crime when he used a webcam to spy on his college roommate’s intimate encounter with another man, actions that allegedly contributed to the suicide of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi.

Ravi is charged with 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy, witness tampering and bias intimidation, which is a hate crime.

Dharun Ravi

Clementi, 18, jumped to his death from the George Washington bridge on Sept. 22, 2010 after Ravi allegedly placed a camera in their dorm room three days earlier and streamed images onto the internet of Clementi’s intimate same-sex encounter, and used Twitter to encourage fellow students to watch.

Ravi, now 20, was also accused of setting up his webcam to try to capture Tyler in a second liaison two days later.

In closing arguments Tuesday, First Assistant Prosecutor Julia McClure encouraged jurors to consider Ravi’s actions in which he allegedly spied on Clement, and told multiple friends via twitter, instant messages and text messages what he had seen, reported the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

“You heard about actions and you heard about words,” McClure said in a hour-long statement, slowly pacing back and forth in front of the jury box. “He told high school friends before he even went off to Rutgers University, he told people in the dorm that he suspected that his roommate was gay.”

“That information and that mindset was what drove his escalating and deliberative acts,” she said.

She later added, “It wasn’t what he wanted his college experience to be. He didn’t want to have a gay roommate. He didn’t like that he had a gay roommate.”

Evidence from Clementi’s computer showed that he had viewed Ravi’s Twitter page 38 times in the two days before he killed himself, and saved screenshots of tweets that were about him. One of the tweets Ravi sent told his twitter followers he had seen his roommate “making out with a dude.”

“Three weeks into his college experience and he finds out that his sexual orientation has been broadcast to the defendant’s Twitter followers. He finds out that his private sexual activity has been exposed,” McClure told jurors. “What do you think he’s thinking? … You don’t think he was intimidated by learning that information?”

Ravi faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charges.

Although he has lived nearly his entire life with his family in the United States, Ravi is not a U.S. citizen and could be deported back to India, where he was born.

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27 more reader comments:

  1. i hope he goes to jail

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 3:46pm
  2. Deliberate, my left cheek. I hope he goes to HELL!!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 3:46pm
  3. He’s a sick fuck for doing that. And I bet if he did this to a girl, there’d be a bigger uproar about it

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 3:47pm
  4. agree he should go to jail!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 3:49pm
  5. Lock the fucker up for 10 years and THEN deport him back to India…this ass hole needs to learn a lesson

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 3:49pm
  6. If he gets off, lets hope the Federal hate crime bill kicks in.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 3:50pm
  7. he said his reason for video taping was because he wanted to make sure his things were being left alone while he was out…. BS!!!!! I hope justice will be served but nothing can replace the life of a loved one!!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 3:51pm
  8. Is that what he said? BULLSHIT….OMG, that makes my skin crawl

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 3:52pm
  9. @Mike Andrews you make an outstanding point!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 3:57pm
  10. he only faces 10 years?

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 3:57pm
  11. he may only get ten years.. but he will be a bitch in prison… call it karma

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 4:03pm
  12. Having watched some of the trial proceedings, I’m inclined to believe he’s a huge dick, but he’s not guilty. The trial has nothing to do with the suicide of the one guy, it’s all about breaking some invasion of privacy law that from what I saw wasn’t actually broken. Nothing was ever taped, the only streaming ever done was the initial stream. The defendant was also accused of intending to deliberately cause the gay man emotional distress, but if that were his intent he would have done more then briefly watch a stream of the man. By all means a dick, but not guilty.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 4:05pm
  13. I missed where the queer and ally community stopped supporting fair trials and began to seriously engage in bloodlust.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 4:11pm
  14. Everyone is responsible for their own actions. Ravi did not kill the man nor deliberately intend for the man to commit suicide. The only thing he is guilty for is invasion of privacy. Besides, with a person like Obama in office, there would be NO WAY he would allow Ravi to be deported. Obama would welcome him with open arms…which is sad.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 4:21pm
  15. I just dont understand what makespeople think that they have the unmitigated right to treat other people this way. He is nothing but a sick bastard who desreves to go to prison!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 4:22pm
  16. Everyone seems to be thinking emotionally as opposed to rationally. We may WANT him to go to prison, but do his actions actually warrant that punishment? Probably not.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 4:24pm
  17. Has anyone considered what kind of straight people would wish to watch gay sex? Isn’t it obvious that this guy thought he wouldn’t look gay if he invited friends to join him and made a joke of it? &-{/}

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 4:29pm
  18. A drunk driver may not intend to kill anyone, but if they do, they should be held responsible for their actions. Same for this case. He purposely sought to humiliate and belittle someone else. He may not have intended for his roommate to kill himself, but it was his actions that pushed his roommate over the edge. To me, that is at least the same as manslaughter.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 4:32pm
  19. At least people are thinking. The statement about Obama is logical? Yeah, it fit right into the conversation…sounds emotional to me. It must be really cool to have the ability to read the presidents mind and KNOW what he would do. Get a clue. The guy is guilty of causing the death of another person and belongs in prison!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 5:03pm
  20. Well said Charlie.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 5:04pm
  21. 10 years isn’t punishment enough for this idiot’s action.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 5:23pm
  22. HE’ a gay men hiding deep in that hole

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 5:34pm
  23. 10 years is not long enough. Lock him up and let him think about his actions for the next decade.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 6:01pm
  24. I say lock his dumb ass up and video tape the bitch crying as he is found GUILTY of invasion of privacy but in reality it’s just being ignorant of wanting to fit in where he’s really the college IDIOT!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 7:32pm
  25. p.s. Dharun Ravi your village called they’re looking for their village idiot…you sorry excuse of a man!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 7:35pm
  26. Perhaps the law will change in a few years to add “privacy invasion resulting in death” to the book of felonies.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 7:57pm
  27. Deport.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:01pm