Prosecution Rests Case in NJ Webcam Spying Trial

The prosecution rested its case Thursday against a Rutgers student who is accused of using a webcam to spy on his roommate during an encounter with another man.

After some 23 witnesses and hundreds of documents entered into evidence, lawyers for Dharun Ravi will now get their turn to present their case to the jury Friday morning.

Ravi, 20, is accused of multiple counts of invasion of privacy, hindering an investigation and bias intimidation, a hate crime that carries a 10-year sentence. Ravi's roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide in September 2010, days after the encounter.

The prosecution’s case focused largely on tweets, texts and instant message chats between Ravi and his friends. It’s alleged that he set up his webcam to automatically accept any request to video chat with him, which would then transmit the video from his webcam in his dorm room. It was set up not to show the contacting person’s video.

Students and forensic computer investigators testified about the tweets and texts that detailed what Ravi said about the webcam and his invitations to video chat his computer on two nights when his roommate was having a sexual liaison with a man.

Possibly the most damaging evidence came from a computer crimes investigator who found that Clementi had viewed Ravi’s Twitter page 59 times in the last week of his life –  38 of those coming in the last two days.

A judge also ruled Thursday that all the charges will stand in the case after defense attorneys filed a routine motion to dismiss charges after prosecutors rested their case.