Nancy Solomon, Managing Editor, New Jersey Public Radio
Nancy Solomon is the Managing Editor of New Jersey Public Radio.
The other man who allegedly had his privacy invaded in the Rutgers webcam spying trial took the witness stand Friday.
The 32-year-old man was identified only as M.B. His name is being withheld because he is the victim of an alleged sex crime.
He testified about having sex with Tyler Clementi on three occasions in September 2010 in the dorm room he shared with the defendant, Dharun Ravi.
Called to the stand by the prosecution, M.B., who appeared clean shaven and neatly dressed, testified that he noticed that Ravi's webcam, which was mounted on the top of his desktop computer, was pointing directly at Clementi's bed.
"If you were sitting at a desk and you're using the computer, that camera wouldn't be facing that way," M.B. said. "I noticed it because I was in a compromising position."
He also told the jury about a group of about five students who were watching him and staring at him as he left the building that night. "If it had been on the street, I would have asked them why they were looking at me," M.B. said. "But because I was a guest in that building, I just put my head down and walked past."
Ravi, 20, is charged with invasion of privacy, hindering an investigation and bias intimidation. The most serious charge, bias intimidation, carries a 10-year sentence. The prosecution must convince the jury that Ravi targeted Clementi because he was gay.
Much of the sixth day of testimony was spent on the cross-examination of M.B.
Defense attorney Steven Altman grilled M.B. about every detail of his arrival and departure on the two nights in question, and about what he remembered about the building and the room. He mostly stayed away from any details about the sexual encounter.
Altman also focused on whether M.B. was clean shaven when he visited the dorm and asked him his age. Many of Ravi's friends who participated to varying degrees in the gossip about Clementi's visitor and webcam viewing said they were more surprised that the man Clementi was seeing was "so old" and "shabby."
Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge the day after the second alleged spying incident took place.
The trial will resume on Monday.