US webcam spying: ‘Indian student immature`
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Last Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2012, 09:05
New York: The lawyer for an Indian student accused of spying on his roommate's homosexual tryst Saturday said his client acted in a "childish and immature" manner but prosecutors countered saying his acts were "mean spirited and criminal", and aimed at exposing his fellow freshman as gay.

The trial of 19-year-old Dharun Ravi, a former Rutgers University student, began in New Brunswick, New Jersey near here, with both sides making their opening statements.

Ravi has pleaded not guilty to charges of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy of his roommate Tyler Clementi, 18. He had used a webcam to spy on Clementi, who later jumped to his death from the George Washington bridge in September 2010.

The most serious count against him is bias intimidation, a hate crime, which carries a potential sentence of 10 years in prison. If convicted, Ravi could also face deportation to India.

Ravi's lawyer Steven Altman told the court his client had no intentions of intimidating Clementi and neither did he have any dislike for gays.

"We do stupid things, we make mistakes, especially when we're young? It doesn't mean we're hateful, we're bigoted or we're criminal," Altman said.

"In fact, Dharun never intimidated anyone. He never committed a hateful crime. He's not homophobic. He's not anti-gay."

Altman stressed that Ravi was a young person just out of high school and is "a boy, childish, at times immature. He was 18."


First Published: Saturday, February 25, 2012, 09:05

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