Tyler Clementi’s Date Says He ‘Noticed’ Webcam In Rutgers Dorm Room

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The man seen on a webcam having an intimate encounter with a former Rutgers student who committed suicide days later testified Friday in the trial of Dharun Ravi.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

The man known only as M.B. was called to the witness stand Friday morning. Tall with a medium build and dark hair, M.B. was clean-cut and clean-shaven when he walked into the courtroom through a side door.

Ravi is charged with invasion of privacy and bias intimidation for allegedly using a webcam to spy on his roommate, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi and M.B.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Levon Putney On The Case

The so-called mystery man has been considered one of the most highly anticipated witnesses in the trial. His identity is being kept a secret from the public. Courtroom cameras are only allowed to show his hands and his testimony will not be broadcast.

Only jurors have been given M.B.’s full name to make sure they did not know him. Outside the courtoom, M.B.’s lawyer Richard Pompelio, said M.B. found out about Clementi’s death after hearing it on the radio.

“He’s a fine young man who came here under horrible circumstances to tell the truth,” Pompelio said.

Prosecutors say Clementi killed himself in September 2010 just days after he found out about the webcam.

M.B. told jurors that he met Clementi in late August of 2010, when he was 30-years-old, on a social networking site for gay men.  He said they soon began to chat on AOL instant messenger and met in person for the first time on Sept. 16 at Clementi’s dorm at Rutgers.

Tyler Clementi - Photo: CBS

Tyler Clementi (credit: CBS)

He says they arranged to meet again a few days later on Sept. 19, the day the alleged spying took place.

M.B. said he went to the dorm around 10:30 p.m. that night. He said Ravi, who he described and pointed out in the courtroom, was in the room when he arrived.

He said Ravi left, but quickly returned. He said Ravi walked over to his desk, shuffled around a bit and then left again.

M.B. said he stayed with Clementi for about two hours that night and said they engaged in sexual activity. Those who testified they watched the live stream that night said they only saw a few seconds of the two kissing with their shirts off.

Nervous and visibly shaken, M.B. then told jurors that at some point he noticed Ravi’s webcam.

“I had just glanced over my shoulder and I noticed there was a webcam that was faced toward the direction of the bed,” he said. “Just being in a compromising position and seeing a camera lens — it just stuck out to me.”

“It was strange. Being in a compromising position and seeing a camera looking at me. If you were sitting at the computer, a camera wouldn’t be facing that direction, it would be facing a person at the computer,” M.B. added.

When he left Clementi’s room around midnight, he said there were about five students looking at him in a way he described as “unsettling.”

“Had they been in the street or somewhere other than this building I would have asked them why they were looking at me,” he said.

He said he came back to the dorm a few days later on Sept. 21 sometime between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m., the same night prosecutors say Ravi posted on Twitter “I dare you to videochat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes, it’s happening again.”

M.B. said he and Clementi had sex again and while he was in the room, he said he could hear people laughing and joking outside in a courtyard, but was not allowed to say what exactly he heard.

Under cross-examination, M.B. said he and Clementi had discussed going to a hotel to be intimate in order to avoid going back to the dorm and running into Ravi.

“If someone hid a camera in place you expected to be private and showed it to others, how would you feel?” said Pompelio.

Defense attorney Steven Altman repeatedly asked if the two ever met anywhere else besides the dorm, like for coffee or a movie.

“I preferred just to wait until we could have the privacy of a room, wherever that room might be,” he said, adding that his home was often not an option.

After the third time he met Clementi, M.B. said he wanted to see the 18-year-old again, but wasn’t sure about returning to the dorm.

“As far as whether I was going to return to that building to see him, I felt a little uneasy about it,” he said.

Earlier in the trial, three of Ravi’s old classmates testified about Ravi’s suspicions that his roommate was gay and that he set up the webcam in their room to catch him.

After Clementi complained to school officials about Ravi, Rutgers officer Krzysztof Kowalczyk dropped by his room to check on the 18-year-old, but says only Ravi was there.

“He had stated that an individual had stayed in the dorm room with Tyler a couple days prior,” Kowalczyk said Ravi had told him.

Jennifer Hellstern, an assistant director of residential life, also testified Thursday. She read a Twitter message for Ravi that was posted a few hours after Kowalczyk left his room.

“Don’t you dare videochat me,” it said.

Another student, Lokesh Ojha, testified Wednesday he went online to see the video from Ravi’s webcam on Sept. 21.

“Curiosity to see if he was actually going to do it,” he said. “To see if Dharun was actually going to stream it.”

He then testified the live stream never worked.

“I said: ‘Yo, it didn’t work.’ He said: ‘Yeah, I’ve been getting that from a lot of people. You’ve got to brush it off,'” Ojha said.

Prosecutors say Clementi killed himself a day after talking with resident assistant Raahi Grover, who testified that Clementi had asked for a room change after finding out about the webcam.

“Tyler is quite upset and feels uncomfortable,” Grover read from an incident report he had written. “Tyler prefers some sort of roommate switch ASAP and prefers some sort of punishment for Dharun Ravi.”

But Ravi’s attorneys have argued he didn’t care about Clementi’s sexual orientation and set up the webcam because he was afraid his belongings were going to be stolen.

A day after speaking with Grover, Clementi posted to Facebook: “Jumping off the gw bridge, sorry,” according to court documents.

Minutes after Clementi’s message was posted to Facebook, Ravi sent him a text message that said the whole incident with the webcam was “a petty misunderstanding.”

Ravi faces 15 criminal charges and could be sentenced for up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Please share your thoughts below…

  • Barack

    So this daffodil kills himself because he was filmed with his elder boyfriend and the roommate is being charged? This doesn’t add up at all…He would have killed himself anyway….
    As for keeping his orientation a secret? The bus already left the station on that one….I mean look at that picture. yoo hooo!

  • Herb

    I hope they put that ravi in prison, so he can taste first hand of the gay life. He won;t be needing a webcam there, all will be LIVE!!!!

  • Emma

    What is this 30 year old doing having sex with a teenager? Wasn’t Tyler still in high school when this adult started a relationship with him? Did he ever actually explain why he couldn’t get a hotel room? Why was a 30 year old having sex in a college dorm room?

    The prosecution did well in making a big deal of protecting this guy’s identity. It really should work to get the jury to think that just being homosexual deserves special treatment. Although the defense could have gone after him and questioned whether this guy convinced Tyler that being homosexual was something for which he should be ashamed.

    They still have to convince the jury that Ravi only set up the camera because his roommate was gay, and I think he would have done it even if he were straight. I also think it would have garnered the same amount of interest. College kids have always spied on other kids in the dorm, giggling at windows and doors. These days, it has just gone hi-tech. Some punishment may be warranted but 10 years in prison isn’t it.

    • Herb

      He was 18 years old, that means HE IS NOT A MINOR! What about those female cougars out there feeling younger guys? Age has nothing to do with it, as long as your of legal age.

    • Glenn Erdmann

      Emma you are an IDIOT.

      • Ronald McDonald


      I was thinking the same thing and they were in bed trying to make a baby on the first date. DISGUSTING.

    • Carl

      He was 18 years old but at that age he is not a minor. So although you find it weird, its leagl What is more weird is why does this other guy have a need to visually spy on others? Doesn;t he have a life to live? I hope they fry him that PIG!!!!

  • Andrew

    I missed Dr.Max Gomez’s report on “brain music”.Will the interview be posted?
    It was broadcast on channel 2 @5:00PM

  • Cara

    It’s not looking good for anybody. Mr. Ravi thought his roomate might be engaging in homosexual acts, & his first thought was to videotape the roomate and stream it over the internet……..What did Mr. Ravi hope to gain by doing that? Does he not realize that it’s the WORLDwide web and that his roomate would proably find out what he had done?

    The late Mr. Clementi was in fact a homosexual & had dorm room sex with a boyfriend. I kind of think that if Mr. Clementi was man enough to be in a sexual relationship with anyone, male or female, he should have been man enough to say “I have a date coming over tonight and we’re going to have private time. Please turn off your webcam and find someplace else to be for a few hours” to his roomate.

    It’s bad that Mr. Ravi taped his roomate & streamed it over the internet. But everybody who tuned in to watch Mr. Ravi’s roomate have sex with a man might as well have been taping it too. We all do things we don’t want other people to know about. Tyler Clementi didn’t want people to see him have sex with his boyfriend, & I’d guess most normal people don’t want the entire internet-subscribing world to see them have sex.

    • James B

      Are you like 5 years old or something. What the hell kind of comment is that. You should really read what you write before trying to comment. That was the most ignorant and absent reply’s to a video. Go figure that no one wants to be secretly taped, and that if Clemente knew that his roommate’s camera was on like you just commented.


      No one watched his mating ritual on the internet. Who would be interested really? There is free porno, gay and straight, online.

  • DaEmph

    I wonder if this was someone of a different’ “color” or ethnic would this crap be getting this much publicity? Probably not….Tyler was a punk for taking his life, be a man, if that is even capable for a gay man.
    Yea its embarrassing,, you have to be strong and not cave in to the pressure.
    The need to deport Ravi back to India!

    • redneck

      They need to deport you back to where your grandparents came from, you un-American hypocrite.

  • Onslow

    It is not looking good for Ravi … his attorney does not appear to be putting up much of a defense. I think Ravi should have taken the plea deal – I doubt he’s garnering much sympathy from the jury. He should have to do the full 10 years.

  • a

    PUT THAT GUY IN JAIL FOR 10 YEARS NO one has the right to video tape anyone this is just like bully very bad excue from RAVI worry about his stuff BS he want to get attention only thinking about his self

    • lin


    • littlestar

      grow some balls.

  • StormsNYC

    “But Ravi’s attorneys have argued he didn’t care about Clementi’s sexual orientation and set up the webcam because he was afraid his belongings were going to be stolen.”

    If that’s the case, then why point the cam at your roommate’s bed, and not at your own possessions? Talk about a flawed defense…

    I’m so glad I graduated college before this world became so wired and wireless, nothing is sacred or held private anymore…

  • Andy

    If Tyler’s date was a female would Ravi have done this? Would the other students been interested in watching and joking?


      The real tragedy is no one was interested and he jumped off the bridge for no reason.

  • redneck

    Why is mypost being censored?

  • Bullett

    If the other party does not wish for his identity to be reveled, he can opt for a behind the screen questioning by the judge & lawyers. If the other party should forgo the screen, he may even want to stare down Ravi for the error of his ways, and maybe even file a separate lawsuit for invasion of privacy.
    To “Jersey Joe”, am I gay? No! But it is a life style that we must all adjust too, no matter how we look at it. If you research your history, men of gay notoriety were very accepted in the days of Nero & Caesar. To have a gay partner was not unusual, but accepted. Get with the program.

    • Amused but not misled

      Where do you get this “law”? Screens? Geez you are clueless!

      You watch way too much TV.

  • max


    • Khalilah

      You and me both. Ravi, gets what he deserve.. Whether he was straight or gay, people should not be video tapping people without their knowledge. And what is it his business, if he is gay or not.


        Ravi is being punished for not embracing the homosexual lifestyle. It is political correctness run amok.

        • Herb

          @Double_Chin_Puppetter Your right! and you should be the next one to be punished…you PIG!!!

        • victorf murgolo

          Your a moron .Please do not repoduce because your offspring will be dumber than you.This has nothing to do with political corredtness. This is basic human civility

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