Pal: Rutgers Student in Spying Case Didn't Show Anti-Gay Views

Friday, March 09, 2012

The defense presented its first day of testimony in the trial of the Rutgers student accused of using a webcam to spy on his roommate intimate encounter with another man never expressed anti-gay views to him.

The first series of witnesses were friends of defendant Dharun Ravi’s family, all men about the age of his father who testified they never heard Ravi say anything derogatory about homosexuality.

Sandeep Sharma was called Friday as the first defense witness in the trial of Ravi after 10 days of testimony from prosecution witnesses.

Ravi is charged with 15 criminal counts including bias intimidation and invasion of privacy. His roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide days after the alleged spying in September 2010.

Sharma is president of R-Squared, the information technology company where Ravi's father is chairman.

But on cross examination, each witness was asked whether they ever discussed homosexuality with Ravi, and none had. The prosecutor also noted they didn’t visit Ravi’s Facebook page, Twitter page and didn't engage in any instant message chats with him.

Much of the evidence presented in nine days of testimony focused on tweets, texts and instant message chats with his friends.


Comments [14]

Political Pop from America

wow can you imagine how embarrasing this is....

Mar. 09 2012 05:40 PM

Most young people show their best faces to their parents' friends and employers/employees. None of this is relevant. Saying "Get the gays out" to his friends, on the other hand, is.

Mar. 09 2012 05:21 PM

The witness who attests to Ravi's lack of prejudice works for his dad. Enough said.

Mar. 09 2012 12:13 PM

agree with Mike from NJ: excellent article here for those who want to be informed and not just opinionated

Mar. 09 2012 11:55 AM

What if it turns out that the defendant was gay and this case was some type of jealous rage driven?

Mar. 09 2012 10:39 AM
Theresa from UES, NY

Would there be any question as to Ravi's motivations if instead of spying on his gay male roomate's intimate encounters he broadcasted with rude commentary a female roomate's private goings-on for all the inane twitterverse to see?

Ravi would be found hateful and perverse to the degree that he would be locked up for a long time if instead of a gay male he perpetrated these same crimes against a female roomate

lock this hateful brat up or it means immunity from prosecution for all future hate crimes committed against gays

and at an institute of 'higher learning'?

Mar. 09 2012 06:43 AM


It is Ravi's fault for the images he saw, as he PURPOSELY turned the webcam towards Tyler's bed. Ravi's not being charged for any of the inane things you mentioned. He is, however, being charged with invading Tyler's privacy by not only purposely turning the webcam towards Tyler's bed and then broadcasting the feed but also by inviting others to view it.

You asked if gay sex is allowed in the bylaws of the school. Really? You sound like a true homophobe. How can such an ugly person as yourself, live in such a beautiful place like Hawaii? Pity.

Mar. 09 2012 02:30 AM
college student


Have you ever gone to college? If you had there are some expectations to follow when living with a roomate. You have to ask for the room if you want privacy. The other roommate can say yes or no. But this is a common thing that is done. Many people have done this in dorms.

With shared rooms there IS privacy. Your roommate can not be touching your things or taking your things. Spying on someone else is also illegal. The person asked for privacy. They had made an arrangement for that. By filming and inviting others to watch it is a violation. Thats like someone putting a camera in the shared bathroom, claiming that this was not invasion of privacy because its his bathroom too.

The point is that Ravi knew that Clementi asked for the room. If Ravi was concerned he could have said no. Instead he made a promise with Clementi to respect his privacy and to give him the room for two hours. Then he went behind his back to watch what his roommate was doing. Its invasion whether its your room or not because you made a verbal agreement.

I am not saying that he is guilty of all the charges. It will be difficult to charge him seriously. But he did break the law with the privacy thing.

Mar. 09 2012 02:18 AM
Mike from NJ

I think anyone who cares about this topic should read the excellent New Yorker article on the case that was published a couple weeks ago. Forget what you think you know about what happened and do a little reading/thinking first.

Hearing an endless torrent of uninformed opinions is tiresome.

Mar. 09 2012 01:40 AM

Mr. Ravi should win this case hands down. If Not, his lawyers need to retire. Mr. Ravi is the victim here. Ravi, did nothing illegal. Mr. Clementi is the one doing activity NOT approved by the school. Is Gay sex allowed in a shared room? Is it written in the bylaws that a person can tell a roommate not to access to his room? Over and over? Ravi had a Right to have his computer facing any way he wants, it is his and it is his space. Is it against the law to face it other than normal? No. Is it illegal to set ones webcam to view ones own room? No. Is it illegal to turn it on remotely? No. Will the webcam see the same things his eyes would see if he was there personally? Of course. What he sees is someone doing something NOT allowed by his roommate. It is NOT Ravi's fault for the images he saw, and only a couple of seconds of which he had a right to view, his own room. He cannot be invading his own privacy. If Clementi wanted privacy, he should have rented a room a NOT intrude of Ravi. This trial is backward, Ravi should be suing the school for taking away his rights to his room if anything. Pity.

Mar. 09 2012 01:35 AM
none from NYC

Look at how this man is bullied on the internet.

Google: dan sandler (cambodia)

Mar. 09 2012 01:34 AM

regardless of everything else, this roommate was in his own private (but shared) living space.

Mar. 09 2012 01:31 AM
Santos from cnj

I feel as if this is a wake up call to all generations who still can't realize that sexual preference is not a crime. Its time to see that damage has been done, and maybe instead of a jail sentencing, mr. ravi should be studied and used as an example to teach people what not to be. He should definitely be donated to the university as a test subject. Like rats and cats, and should be used for teaching purposes.

Mar. 09 2012 01:25 AM
Telia from Oregon

This story breaks my heart. When I think of what Mr. Ravi did, according to the evidence, I am horrified and disgusted and think he should have a lot of time to think about his actions in prison. But ultimately, I do not believe prison time is appropriate, at least not years of it. I do not believe the prison system does anything except endanger lives. The case makes me sick and sad and angry. I am so sorry for the Clementi family, so sorry for all the people who knew and loved Tyler Clementi, and, above all, so sorry and sad that Tyler apparently could not see or find a way around the impulsive and desperate act of killing himself out of humiliation. No matter the outcome, it is a tragedy. I feel for the jurors who have to decide this case.

Mar. 09 2012 12:36 AM

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