Webcam spying case: Ravi invited friends for viewing party
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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 06, 2012, 22:46
New York: An Indian-origin student accused of spying on his roommate's homosexual tryst had sent out text messages to his friends "about having a viewing party" as he invited others to watch his collegemate's intimate encounter with another man through a webcam, according to a testimony.

Dharun Ravi, 20, had texted his high school friend Michelle Huang that Rutgers University students were having a "viewing party with a bottle of bacardi and beer" to watch his roommate Tyler Clementi getting intimate with another man.

Huang testified in a New Jersey Court that Ravi had explained to her that he had a webcam pointed at Clementi’s bed and "the monitor is off so he can't see you."

A separate text from Ravi to Huang read, "Yeah, keep the gays away."

Ravi's trial entered its second week with prosecutors trying to prove that Ravi was biased against gay people and wanted to invade the privacy of Clementi, who had committed suicide in September 2010 after he found out that Ravi had spied on him.

Ravi's defence team has argued that he meant no harm to Clementi and acted in an "immature manner" when he invited other students to spy on Clementi for a second time through a webcam.

The defence has also said that Ravi had used to webcam as he was worried Clementi's partner, known only as 'MB', could steal his iPad.

Ravi has been charged with 15 counts of invasion of privacy and bias intimidation and could face 10 years in prison if convicted.

In the trial so far, Ravi's friends have testified that he does not harbour dislike for gay people.

The case's star witness 'MB' had testified last week that as he and Clementi were in a compromising position in Clementi's room, he saw a camera that was pointed toward the bed which made him uncomfortable.

During her testimony, Huang said she had asked Ravi if he had "really" seen Clementi "make out with some guy."

Ravi had replied, "Yeah omg molly saw it too. He was older and creepy and def(initely) from the internet."

Huang had then suggested that Clementi's friend might be in Ravi’s bed to which he responded, "I set my computer to alert me if anyone is in it when I'm not there. Lol. (sic)"’

Two days after Clementi committed suicide, Ravi had texted Huang who had asked him if he knew why Clementi would kill himself.

He had responded, "No idea. He was quiet all the time and had no friends so I guess it makes sense."

Prosecutors are expected to call an information technology expert for Rutgers University as its witness in the trial.


First Published: Tuesday, March 06, 2012, 22:46

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