NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A young woman in the middle of the Rutgers webcam spying case took the stand on Monday afternoon. Molly Wei, a key witness for the state’s case against Dharun Ravi, who is accused of spying on his roommate, said her friend was “just shocked and kind of surprised” at what he saw on the webcam video.

Ravi is accused of using a webcam to spy on roommate Tyler Clementi’s sexual encounter with another man.  Wei said Ravi was in her dorm room across the hall when they saw the encounter and that his desktop was set to automatically turn on.

“He had set up his computer to basically auto-accept if anyone wants to video chat with him.  And he explained to me that he could see what was going on in his room if somebody else — if he called his computer from someone else’s computer,” Wei explained in court while being questions by the prosecution.

Clementi later committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.

“It shouldn’t have happened and we saw something we didn’t expect to see and it just felt weird,” Wei said.

When asked by the prosecutor how she would describe Ravi’s reaction to what was happening on the webcam, Wei said he was “freaking out a little.”

In addition, Wei said that Ravi also went on AIM and Twitter to tell friends what was happening in his dorm room.  She said Ravi wrote “something like ‘I saw my roommate kissing a guy.'” on Twitter.

Wei avoided criminal prosecution by entering a pre-trial intervention program. Part of the deal included her telling the truth on the stand.

Ravi, 19, is charged with invasion of privacy, bias intimidation and other counts.  But the defense tried to play up Ravi’s concern about his personal property.

Defense: “Dharun when he came to your room, tell you that he was concerned with whether or not his property of was going to be stolen?”

Wei: “He did mention that.”

Defense: “Did he tell you that if he goes back into his room and his iPad is missing, he’s going Tyler pay for it?”

Wei: “Yes”

Defense: “Did Dharun say to you that the reason he wanted to do this was because he wanted to see something sexual take place in the room?”

Wei: “No”

Defense: “Did he tell you that he felt like he was thrown out of his room?”

Wei: “Yes — kicked out.”

In testimony Monday, jurors heard from other Rutgers students. One saw Twitter messages from Ravi about seeing Clementi on a webcam. One said she saw seconds of the video herself.

A small group of Rutgers students said they gathered in a room across the hall from Clementi’s watching his encounter with another man on a webcam Ravi set up.

“I saw two males kissing and… it was just the back of them, I couldn’t see their faces,” said Pooja Kollouri.

Prosecutors say Clementi killed himself because he felt he had been exposed.

Kollouri told the court Monday that Ravi may have had other reasons for setting up the webcam.

“To make sure his things weren’t touched,” Kollouri said.

Kollouri also told jurors Ravi wanted to know if Clementi was gay. Most students who watched the encounter said Ravi was not anti-gay.

Prosecutors said Clementi suspected he was being watched and reported it to the university. That’s when Wei said she was questioned by campus police, but while talking to them, she said Ravi was text messaging her.

The messages, which were showed in court on Monday, included a message from Ravi asking ‘Did you tell them we did it on purpose?’  Wei said she believed Ravi thought the two of them were going to get in trouble and wanted the situation to seem more like an “accident.”

The trial opened Friday with questions about Ravi’s relationship with gay people. Witnesses said that while Ravi expressed discomfort about having a gay roommate, they weren’t aware of him harboring any anti-gay sentiment.

Prosecutors are trying to prove bias intimidation charges, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. To be convicted, they’d have to establish Ravi acted out of bias against gays.

Ravi’s lawyer insisted Friday his client isn’t bigoted.

“He may be stupid at times,” defense attorney Steven Altman said in his opening statement. “He’s an 18-year-old boy, but he’s certainly not a criminal.”

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …

Comments (26)
  1. Joe says:

    Why everybody s going after this kid when there’s one whole big political party says No to homosexuality. This kid doesnt even hate gays, he s just uncomfortable having gay people coming in to his room.
    If i shared a room with a guy, i would love to see pretty girls NOT guys. I know that you all who have spoken against this kid Dharan, feels the same way i do.

  2. lin says:

    I think if he was protecting his stuff camera should have been pointed on his stuff not tylers bed hello that is bull he got caught out there .Your missing stuff then ask for a room change but the fact that tyler asked for a room change leaves me to believe he was bullied by this lowlife i hope he gets the maximum jail time you dont film and spy on people.

  3. rocker90 says:

    Ravi is not gonna receive a fair trial at all.

    He had the right to keep a camera on in his room and he was uncomfrotable.

    He did not Celementi to jump off the GW Bridge so why is he being charged?

    1. max says:

      YOu just dont get it
      He had a right to keep the camera on in his room
      It is what he did with that information
      If he didnt want to use the information to harm his roommate he should have told him the camera was set up to watch the room since that would have benefited both room mates
      The guy is a garbage

      1. Joe says:

        Max is puppet paid by prosecuter

  4. littlestar says:

    Ravi is innocent !

    1. max says:

      I bet you dont even know the charges you say he is innocent of

  5. NYSmike says:

    Wei testified that Ravi was SHOCKED after seeing what was on cam, yet Tyler’s complaint to the school said that he wanted to change rooms because this was the SECOND time his roommate spied on him.

  6. Lewixxxusa says:

    Was that all about Ravi trying to impress Wei?

  7. RoyBoySays says:

    Let’s not forget that Molly Wei,was a co conspirator,but decided to roll over and become a stool pigeon,so she could get 1st offender treatment,while her co defendant faces 20 years in prison. I don’t condone the behavior of either perp,but what’s fair is afair……Why didn’t Ravi get the same 1st offender treatment?

    1. 1dallstar says:

      because it was his computer and his room and he turned it on, wont dont you just blame bush for it and he twwiitered it. you know you kids have to start taking some responsibilty when you hurt innocent people with you BS

      1. Amtracmarine says:

        Wrong, Ravi went to Wei’s room and set the feed up on her computer. ,” Wei said. “We didn’t want people to know what had happened.”But,Following the initial viewing, Ravi left the room and Wei’s roommate, Cassandra Cicco, and Cicco’s friends came to the room and asked to view the webcam. Wei activated the camera again for “like two seconds,” before shutting it off, and the girls left, she said.

  8. Moshe says:

    Ravi is not being charged with Clementi’s death. If he didn’t commit suicide but instead called the police and said his roommate took a video of him kissing a guy woud they have done anything? Highly doubtful. Ravi should be acquitted but you never know because of the media attention to homosexuals.

  9. Veeja says:

    When you live a dorm sharing with another person, you just don’t do sex in that room with another man, period, especially you are afraid people will find out about your gay stuff! Ravi is just 18 year old who found out about it accidentally and wanted to share with others. Show me another 18 year old who not share this with others! This is NOT a biased crime by any stretch of imagination. The only reason Ravi was charged with biased crime, was that Clementi killed himself.

  10. Forest Gump says:

    Ravi was an honor student in H.S. and scored 1100 on his SAT. I don’ think he was ‘stupid’.

  11. Max says:

    yet another asshole

  12. 2012 says:

    I’m guessing Tyler Clementi threw himself off the bridge because he wasn’t comfortable being a homosexual. The video thing was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was just a matter of time before this kid did himself in.

  13. Severor says:

    stay in the sewer and don’t come up again. “:>?:{{{!

    1. Severor says:

      directed to nycsewer

  14. DBrooks says:

    At age 18, one can drive, vote, get married, sign legal contracts, go to war for your country…it’s the “age of majority” which our society has determined one is ready to be called an adult. Adults know the difference between right and wrong…Ravi knew what he was doing was wrong but that didn’t stop him. Let the punishment fit the crime, but require that it include mandatory lectures to kids about cyber bullying and intolerance.

    1. Veeja says:

      I guess when you were 18, you NEVER did any dumb things, right? And adults know the difference between right and wrong so adults never make any mistakes, right? You brilliant deduction is fantastic to say the least!

      1. Dr meh says:

        When I was 18, my actions never caused another man to take his life. So mistakes yes, that kind of mistake, nope.

        1. max says:

          there is a big difference between a dumb and completely viscious maliscious and hurtful
          Ravi should rot in a jail in the country he came from

          1. Joe says:

            Max, Homosexuality came from India. Your asshole belongs to India first and then to your gay friend.

  15. dakotahgeo says:

    If ‘Stupid’ were a felonious offense, this boy-child would be toast. Send him to prison for 5’10 years. He’ll pray that his new boyfriend, Bubba, doesn’t have a webcam!

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