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Lawyers For Accused In Clementi Case Detail Defense

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Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei (credit: AP)

Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei (credit: AP)

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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBS 2) — The lawyers for the two Rutgers students accused of spreading a secretly recorded video alleged to have driven Tyler Clementi to jump off the George Washington Bridge are disputing allegations made in the case against their clients.

For the first time, their lawyers have indicated their defense in statements to the Star-Ledger. The lawyers contend the video was only viewed on a single computer and did not show the men having sex.

Ravi’s attorney, Steven Altman said “nothing was transmitted beyond one computer and what was seen was only viewed for a matter of seconds.”

Legal experts, like professor Tim Wu at Columbia Law School said the issue was not how few people saw the video, but whether Clementi believed it went on the internet.

“This question of whether, in fact, the video was disseminated on the internet is of very little legal relevance,” Wu told CBS 2′s Pablo Guzman.

“What I think we have to think about is whether the victim thought this film was being put on the internet, because that may have been why he killed himself.”

On the campus that Ravi and Wei are no longer a part of — the two opted out of Rutgers last week — sentiment against them was even stronger.

“There’s no doubt, she’s guilty,” student Lily Kong said, “it’s hard to say she didn’t know what her friend was doing.”

“Even if it’s just one person you’re showing that to…it’s his life,” student Tom Hiltwein said.

While law enforcement debates whether a hate crime was committed, professor Wu said there was a more basic issue at work — respecting someone’s privacy.

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