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