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Detective: Tyler Clementi Saved Dharun Ravi’s Tweets

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Dharun Ravi in court on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 (credit: CBS 2)

Dharun Ravi in court on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (CBSNewYork/AP) –  A detective testified Tuesday that a Rutgers University student saved screenshots of his roommate’s Twitter postings that said he was seen on a video chat “making out with a dude” and “daring” others to watch.

Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Investigator Gary Charydczak showed jurors records from 18-year-old Tyler Clementi’s computer on Tuesday during the trial Dharun Ravi.

The detective said he learned about Clementi’s computer use from examining the hard drive of the laptop that was found in his Rutgers dorm room.

He displayed the Tweets that he said were saved to Clementi’s hard drive under the names “untitled.jpg” and “secondtime.jpg.”

Charydczak said Clementi visited Ravi’s Twitter page 38 times between Sept. 20 and Sept. 22, the day he jumped off the George Washington Bridge.

Ravi is accused of using a webcam to spy on Clementi as he was having an intimate encounter with another man back in September 2010.

Prosecutors say Ravi used Twitter first to tell followers that he had seen his roommate “making out with a dude” on Sept. 19, and two days later to “dare” them to video chat him when Clementi had again asked to have the room to himself so he could have a guest over.

Authorities also say Ravi told friends about the expected dorm-room liaison through other means, including text messages.

Earlier Tuesday, Rutger’s network analyst Timothy Hayes told jurors that it appeared that Ravi’s computer was in web chats with other students on Sept. 21 between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., but then “went silent” for two hours later that night.

“In reviewing the data, there was this glaringly obvious hole. There was a period of approximately two hours where there was no data from Ravi’s computer,” he said. “It is unusual for a computer, especially a student computer, to go silent especially during that hour of the day.”

That was the night that Ravi had allegedly set up the webcam and invited others to watch Clementi during a sexual encounter with another man in their dorm room.

Prosecutors have been building the case that Ravi also went to the rooms of dorm mates that evening to test his webcam.

They tried to use Hayes’ testimony to corroborate that. He said there was a web chat between his computer and Lokesh Ojha’s at 6:58 p.m. that evening, and another with Alissa Agarwal starting 46 minutes later. Both those students testified that Ravi showed them how they could use a web chat program to see what was happening in his room.

There has been no evidence that anyone used a videochat service to spy on Clementi that night.

Court documents suggest that Ravi’s computer was unplugged before his guest arrived. Hayes said it seems that Ravi’s computer was unplugged for about two hours, beginning at 9:25 p.m.

On Monday, a friend testified that Ravi sent her a text message inviting her to a “viewing party” of his dorm room webcam showing Clementi in an intimate encounter with another man.

“Something about making out, his roommate making out with another man,” Michele Huang told the jury.

“Do it for real,” Ravi wrote in a text that was shown to jurors. “I have it pointed at his bed.”

In one part of the exchange, Huang texted Ravi: “Watch out, he may come for you when you’re sleeping.”

Ravi responded that he had his computer set to alert him if anyone was in his bed when he wasn’t there. “It keeps the gays away,” he said.

The exchange may help prosecutors show that Ravi had malice toward gays, a necessary element to persuade jurors to convict Ravi on the bias intimidation charges he faces. But he and his friend went on to talk about some of their gay friends.

Later, Huang testified that after Clementi killed himself, Ravi told her the talk of a viewing party was a joke.

Ravi faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

His attorney says that his client does not hate homosexuals, but that he acted childishly and was using his webcam to keep an eye on his belongings.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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