Rutgers Students Say Tyler Clementi Webcam Peeking Was 'No Big Deal'


"He's seeking to brand Tyler as different from everybody else, as gay, to set him up for contempt and ridicule," said Middlesex County Prosecutor Julie McClure. "These acts were not a prank, not an accident, not a mistake, and certainly were not good natured... These acts were purposeful, intentional, planned. I would suggest to you beyond that they were mean spirited, malicious, and criminal."

But the defense argues that the live image of Clementi and antoher man were only on the computer for an instant, and were not purposefully broadcast to anyone. Ravi, they argue, was neither homophobic nor a bully.

"You're going to see evidence that Dahrun is not homophobic, not anti-gay. Evidence that he never recorded, never broadcast images of his roommate. He never harassed his roommate, or ridiculed or spoke negatively about his roommate. He thought he was nice guy and had no problem with him," Ravi's lawyer Steven Altman said.

Instead, Altman said, the jury should keep in mind that Ravi was a "boy" who was 18 at the time and who occasionally acted immaturely when discussing his roommate's perceived sexuality among his friends.

"He might be stupid at times, but he's 18 years old and he's certainly not criminal," Altman said.

Ravi, dressed in a dark suit, followed sidebars by intently listening in on earphones.

The trial began with the judge excusing one of the 16 jurors, reducing the panel to 15. The judge said only that the juror, identified as Mr. Alvarado, had "learned he had to amend an answer to a questionnaire... That's all I have to say."

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