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Rutgers Spycam Trial: Tyler Clementi's guest says he saw webcam in dorm room

A Twitter account belonging to Ravi was recently deleted, but in a cached version retained through Google he sent a message on Sept. 19: "Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly's room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay." Two days later, he wrote on Twitter: "Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it's happening again." CBS/Twitter

Activity on Dharun Ravi's Twitter account in Sept. 2011
CBS/Twitter
(AP) NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - The man who witnesses say was seen on a webcam kissing Tyler Clementi took the stand Friday and told jurors he noticed the webcam while the two were being intimate.

Pictures: Tyler ClementiPictures: Rutgers Spycam Trial

"I had just glanced over my shoulder and I noticed there was a webcam that was faced toward the direction of the bed," said the man, identified only by the initials M.B. "Just being in a compromising position and seeing a camera lens - it just stuck out to me."

The man testified that he had met Tyler Clementi in August 2010 through a social networking site for gay men. They chatted online and had their first in-person meeting in Clementi's dorm room on Sept. 16 - three days before the alleged spying and six days before Clementi committed suicide.

The man's testimony came in the trial of Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi, who is charged with bias intimidation, invasion of privacy and other crimes for allegedly setting up the webcam to spy on his roommate's encounter with the man. Witnesses who saw short snippets of the video say it contained nothing more graphic than images of two men kissing.

M.B told jurors that as he left the building where Clementi's room was on Sept. 19 he noticed about five students looking at him.

"Had they been in the street or somewhere other than this building I would have asked them why they were looking at me," he said. He called their actions "unsettling."

On Thursday, jurors heard testimony from a Rutgers police officer who said that he knocked on the door of a dorm room shortly before 10 p.m. on Sept. 22 for a well-being check on Clementi.

Officer Krzysztof Kowalczyk testified the other freshman who lived in the cramped room answered and said that when he'd last seen Clementi five hours earlier, everything was normal.

Prosecutors appear to be using Kowalczyk's testimony to lay groundwork to show there was a cover-up. According to legal filings which have not yet been introduced to the jury, Clementi posted to Facebook at 8:42 p.m.: "Jumping off the gw bridge, sorry."

Ravi sent Clementi long text messages at 8:46 p.m. and then 10 minutes later describing the use of his webcam as "a petty misunderstanding."

But Kowalczyk said Ravi didn't mention anything about that - just that he saw Clementi at about 4:30 p.m. when his roommate dropped off his book bag in the room.

The officer said Ravi did volunteer one other piece of information: "He had stated that an individual had stayed in the dorm room with Tyler a couple days prior," Kowalczyk said.

Ravi faces 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, a hate crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Complete coverage of Tyler Clementi and the Dharun Ravi trial on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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