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Prosecutors rest in Rutgers webcam spying case

Dharun Ravi

Dharun Ravi Photo Credit: Dharun Ravi (Pool Photo)

The prosecution rested its case Thursday against the ex-Rutgers student accused of using a webcam to secretly broadcast online a gay sexual encounter of his roommate who committed suicide a few days later.

The defense for Dharun Ravi, 20, was slated to present its side starting on Friday before the jury in Middlesex County, New Jersey.

Ravi's roommate at Rutgers, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, killed himself on September 22, 2010, after learning Ravi covertly saw him kissing another man and appeared to encourage others to watch.

Ravi faces 15 counts of invasion of privacy, witness and evidence tampering and bias intimidation, which is a hate crime. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

He is not charged in Clementi's suicide, which was widely portrayed as a tragic example of bullying and the toll it often takes on gay teenagers. Prosecutors say Ravi spied on Clementi and intimidated him for being gay; the defense says Ravi behaved childishly but did not commit any crime.

Taking the stand will be several character witnesses for Ravi, defense attorneys said. It remained unclear whether Ravi would take the witness stand.

(with Reuters)

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