Character Witnesses Take Stand To Defend Ravi In Rutgers Webcam Trial

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The first defense witnesses were presented on Friday in the trial of a former Rutgers University student accused of using a webcam to spy on his roommate.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney: Testimony Wraps Until Next Week

The defense isn’t revealing whether Dharun Ravi’s will testify in his own trial, but his attorneys put seven character witnesses on the stand.

Sandeep Sharma, the first defense witness of the day, is president of R-Squared, the information technology company where Ravi’s father is chairman. When asked whether he has ever seen Ravi say anything derogatory to homosexuals, or heard him describe homosexuals in a derogatory fashion, Sharma simply replied, “No.”

Ravi is accused of using a webcam to spy on his roommate, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, having an intimate encounter with another man in September 2010. Clementi committed suicide days later.

Prosecutors are trying to prove Ravi targeted his roommate Tyler Clementi because he was gay, reports CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

Ragi Rathinasabapath and Girish Warrier, friends of the Ravi family, and Anil Kappa, a partner in Ravi’s father’s company, also took the stand and defended Ravi, testifying that they’ve never heard Ravi speak ill of particular homosexuals or homosexuality in general.

The prosecution rested its case against Ravi on Thursday after calling nearly two dozen witnesses and presenting about 100 pieces of physical evidence during the first 10 days of testimony.

Investigator Frank Denino says no one has told him Ravi hated gays.

“I didn’t speak to a witness in this group that indicated that,” he said.

Ravi is charged with 15 criminal counts, including bias intimidation, invasion of privacy and seven charges that he tried to cover up his actions.

Defense lawyers have not said whether Ravi himself will testify.

Please leave a comment below…

(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

  • Lynne

    Dharun needs to be sent back to where he came from. There is enough garbage in this country. He was wrong and his actions illegal. He needs to take his friend Molly with him too.

  • Mary

    Has anyone read Dharun Ravi’s posts? He was excited about the new running shoes he bought. This says that he was immature and trying to fit in like insecure kids. He thought he could get popular. He should be punished for using a WebCam and not tried for being bias. Its terrible that the young man committed suicide for invasion of his privacy. A sensitive young man who did not want his sexual exploits be known.

  • littlestar

    Gay people are functionally insane.

  • Dan Te

    Is Ravi gay or curious?

  • Ashish

    Anyone who has ever attended college knows this is just a college prank. This should be handled administratively by Rutgers. The judge should throw this case out immediately. Does not belong in court.

    • joe

      i am sorry to say you are a fool. this guy and his chinese friend caused another human being to take his life. dont you see that. however irrespective of whether they are found guilty of whatever they are charged with, you can be sure that, unless they are completely evil, everytime they close their eyes or look at themselves in the mirror they will think about and realise the terrible consequences of their actions. even worse for them, there is no one around to forgive them.

  • Victor Beube

    The facts speak for themselves. The mens rea is there. He thought it was fun, a prank to play on another persons feelings and oriontation. He’s toast. Let us see if he testifies to explain his actions and if he does, how the jury handles it.These character witnesses mean nothing. The jury is waiting for him to testify.

  • Sanjay Patel

    Mr.Ravi was under duress when he was interrogated by the police and his Miranda Rights was not administered properly therefore the judge should not have allowed the jurors to see the interrogation video.

    • Too obvious

      Lol you are wrong wrong wrong.I think your too blind to see how evil he really is.

  • David Goldstein

    I hope Home land Security is keeping an eye on this donkey mule Dharun Ravi.

  • mary

    I think Ravi is a foul person. His spying drove that young man to kill himself period. He should be punished in a big way. Why isn’t he a legal citizen? He is not even legal over here starting trouble. I feel sorry for the young man who took his life over this I would not have taken my life.


      If he drove his roomie to kill himself why isn’t he being charged with murder?

      • He needs to come out of closet

        So your saying he did nothing wrong.That he should not pay for making someone feel so bad that there only choice was to die.He is sick and he probably enjoyed wathing the videos.I bet it was not his first time watching

  • Jay

    He recorded his roommate’s intimate encounter with someone and broadcast it. Fact. Whether he spoke out against homosexuality to anyone is absolutely meaningless in his defense of his actions. Send him to jail for what he actually did if nothing else.

  • Scott

    The defense team is not doing a good job on their first day

  • max

    Who cares if the prosecution brings up a million people to defend ravi
    It doesnt change the facts of the case
    Good people do bad things
    In this case a bad person did a bad thing

  • MaxineRocks

    Just because these people may never have heard it doesn’t mean he never said it. One works with his father, two are friends of the family, and one s a partner in the company where his father is chairman – not buying them being credible witnesses. Daddy apply a little pressure to save his little boy, maybe? Puh-leeze!

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