But the prosecution has asserted it was Clementi – not Ravi – who turned off the computer. And they produced a witness who said he helped Ravi arrange the webcam so it was pointing at Clementi's bed before the scheduled date.
"This is a big problem for the defense," said Fahy. "The defense is going to have a hard time getting the jury to believe that the second attempted viewing was not a premeditated invasion of privacy. If he lied in any of his answers, this will hurt him."
As Fahy points out, this could prove to be a critical piece of evidence regarding the more serious charges against Ravi – bias intimidation, a hate crime that could put him in prison for up to 10 years. If the jury believes he was lying about the second incident, they could also conclude he is lying about his intentions – that he had concerns over theft of his belongings. In short, his aborted act of spying could prove much more damaging than his earlier, actual act of spying.
Ravi's lawyer, Steven Altman, used the opportunity to enter a counter argument into evidence, a message Ravi sent to Clementi on Sept. 22, after he learned Ravi had requested a room change: "I've known you were gay and I have no problem with it. In fact, one of my closest friends is gay and I have a very open relationship. I just suspected you were shy and never broached it as a topic."
"I don't want your freshman year to be ruined because of a petty misunderstanding, it's adding to my guilt. You have a right to move if you wish but I don't want you to feel pressured to without fully understanding the situation."
The lead investigator in the Middlesex County prosecutor's office is expected to testify Thursday and the state could very well rest its case by week's end.