NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The prosecution is trying to make its case for bias intimidation in the trial of a former Rutgers student accused of spying on his roommate with a webcam.
A high school friend of Dharun Ravi told prosecutors Ravi tweeted about setting up the webcam inside the dorm room he shared with 18-year-old Tyler Clementi.
“Something about making out, his roommate making out with another man,” Michele Huang told the jury.
Clementi committed suicide after prosecutors say he found out Ravi spied on him and a man identified as “M.B.” to protect his identity. M.B., 32, testified on Friday he noticed a webcam pointed at them during their encounter.
Prosecutors allege Ravi deliberately spied on Clementi and his male friend and tweeted others to join in and watch.
Huang testified that Ravi urged her to video chat him so she could see the footage.
“Do it for real,” Ravi wrote in a text that was shown to jurors. “I have it pointed at his bed.”
Huang, who was a Cornell University student at the time, told prosecutors she had no interest in watching, but that she exchanged text messages with Ravi afterwards.
“Be careful, it could get nasty,” Huang quoted Ravi as saying. “People are having a party with a bottle of Bacardi and beer for my roommate.”
Later, Huang testified that after Clementi killed himself Ravi told her the talk of a viewing party was a joke.
Huang’s testimony is crucial because Ravi is on trial for bias intimidation and invasion of privacy. Under cross-examination the defense pointed out most of Huang’s recollection was through the media. Ravi’s attorney made her read messages she sent to Ravi as well.
“That’s so nasty, eww, watch out he might come forth when you’re sleeping jk,” she read. “JK” is a popular abbreviation for “just kidding.”
Ravi faces 15 criminal charges and could be sentenced for up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Ravi’s attorney says that his client does not hate homosexuals but that he acted childishly and was using his web cam to keep an eye on his belongings.
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