Student Testimony May Contradict Defendant’s Story
Potentially damning testimony was given by Rutgers University student who helped defendant Dharun Ravi set up the Webcam that was used to spy on his roommate, Tyler Clementi, as Clementi engaged in an intimate interaction with another man. A few days after Clementi became aware of the spying he committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.
Lokesh Ojha testified yesterday that he helped Ravi set up the Webcam so that it would show a clear view of Clementi’s bed. This contradicts Ravi’s claim that he innocuously set up the Webcam to protect his personal electronics from theft.
“I thought my college career was over,” Ojha testified. When asked why by the defense attorney, Ojha replied, “Because I helped him. I helped him set it up.”
Despite helping Ravi set up the Webcam, Ojha said that Ravi never explained why he wanted the help.
Today, the former captain of the Rutgers’ ultimate Frisbee team, Jeffrey Irving, testified that a teammate told him about trying to use a Webcam to capture images of his roommate. Irving further testified that Ravi seemed uncomfortable with the possibility that Clementi was gay.
Considered a key witness, the man that Clementi was videoed with, known only as “M.B.,” is expected to testify soon.
The prosecution in the case has charged Ravi with 15 counts, including bias intimidation, a hate crime that is punishable by 10 years in prison. In order to convict Ravi of bias intimidation, the prosecution must prove that Ravi intentionally intended to humiliate or intimidate Clementi because of his sexual orientation.