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Accused harasser in Rutgers Tyler Clementi suicide case rejects plea deal

Dharun Ravi appears in court at the Middlesex County Courthouse during a hearing in the webcam-spying case involving the suicide of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011, in New Brunswick, N.J. Ravi is one of two former Rutgers students accused of spying on Clementi's intimate encounter with another man days before the classmate committed suicide. AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Dharun Ravi at the Middlesex County Courthouse during a hearing in the webcam-spying case involving the suicide of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011, in New Brunswick, N.J.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

(CBS/AP) NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student accused of using a webcam to spy on his roommate Tyler Clementi's intimate encounter with another man, rejected a plea deal Thursday that could have kept him out of prison.

Pictures: Tyler Clementi

Clementi, the victim of the alleged spying, was an 18-year-old freshman when he killed himself in September 2010, igniting a national conversation about bullying of young gays and lesbians.

Ravi, 19,  affirmed on Thursday his decision to go to trial, even though a conviction could mean 10 years or more in prison.  Ravi faces 15 criminal counts in all, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, a hate crime. A judge set a trial date of Feb. 21.

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman ruled that Ravi's lawyer should not have access to his personal writings, including documents found on his computer.

Berman reiterated his earlier ruling that Ravi, his lawyer and his lawyer's investigator should be given the name and birth date of the man who had the intimate encounter with Clementi, with the caveat that they not give that information to anyone else.

Prosecutors objected to the disclosure requirement last month and asked Berman to reconsider.

On Thursday, the man, identified in court papers only as M.B., was represented in court by Richard Pompelio, a victims' rights lawyer who argued that his right to privacy outweighs Ravi's need to have information to defend himself.

Pompelio argued that media exposure would harm M.B.

"Once they find out who he is, they find out his face," he said. "As the defendant knows, he has family and a web of relationships that are impacted by anything that happens to him. If his name gets out, it's out and it's out forever."

After court, Pompelio said he would not disclose any information about his client, including his age or occupation.

Complete Coverage of Tyler Clementi on Crimesider


  • Crimesider Staff

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