Defense in Tyler Clementi suicide case learns mystery man's name

Tyler Clementi Personal Photo

(CBS/AP) CAMDEN, N.J. - Prosecutors Wednesday gave up their legal battle to keep secret the identity of the man who had intimate encounters with Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi in a webcam spying case. Prosecutors complied with a judge's order to give the name to the suspect and his lawyer.

Pictures: Tyler Clementi

The suspect Dharun Ravi, lawyer Steven Altman, and an investigator were permitted to know the man's name, but they may not reveal it to anyone - even in the course of their investigation.

Ravi, 19, is accused of using a webcam in September 2010 to spy on roommate Clementi's intimate encounter with the mystery man, who has been publicly identified only as M.B. Clementi killed himself days after learning his encounter with another man was broadcast on the web.

Clementi's suicide in September ignited a national debate over bullying. It also led to a criminal investigation into whether Ravi's actions played a role in his death.

Ravi now faces 15 charges, including invasion of privacy, and the hate crime of bias intimidation, and could face 10 years in prison if he's convicted. A trial is scheduled for February.

The Middlesex County prosecutor's office and M.B. had both fought having his name made public.

Last week, the man's lawyer, Richard Pompelio, told Judge Glenn Berman that M.B.'s right to privacy outweighs Ravi's defense rights. M.B. said in court papers that he's living in fear of having the media dissect his life.

But on Wednesday, Pompelio said that both the decision to comply with Berman's order and the order itself were appropriate.

Pompelio said he'd closely monitor the situation.

"I've made it clear to the defense: You approach anybody and use his name, I'm going to deem you to be in violation of the judge's order," he said. "I don't think it's going to be a problem."

Complete coverage of Tyler Clementi on Crimesider