Rutgers Trial: Did Prosecution Make Its Case Against Dharun Ravi?

After the defense rests its case, in all likelihood next week, the jury will begin its deliberations, matching up evidence with each count of the 14 count indictment. Here's a snapshot of the indictment and how the state has fared thus far:

Invasion of Privacy

Counts 1 (4th Degree) and Count 3 (3rd Degree)

There is no doubt that Ravi used his webcam to spy on Clementi for a few seconds on Sept. 19, 2010. While the law provides no parameters for the extent or degree of action to trigger "invasion," there seems to be little question about what happened in this regard. Ravi admitted as much when questioned by detectives, and Molly Wei, his friend who is cooperating with the state, said that the two turned on the camera in order to spy on Clementi and his lover.

Thus, the state contends he spied with the intention of seeing a sexual encounter, and that is invasion of privacy.

The defense strategy here though is also backed up by Ravi's initial statement to police – that he turned on the webcam because Clementi's visitor "creeped" him out and he feared the man might steal something. The counter argument to the prosecution is therefore: Ravi didn't think he would see the tryst in progress, he was just trying to monitor his belongings because he was suspicious of Clementi's lover.

Attempted Invasion of Privacy

Count 5 (4th Degree) and Count 7 (3rd Degree)

These charges refer to Ravi's aborted attempt to capture Ravi and M.B. on his webcam a second time, on Sept. 21.

Witness Lokesh Ojha, Ravi's friend, testified that he helped Ravi position the webcam so it was pointed at Clementi's bed. Several witnesses, including Ojha, also received tweets from Ravi, inviting them to connect with his webcam and view the encounter.

These are probably the strongest charges for the prosecution. Ravi's claims to police that he was still concerned about the security of his belongings has yet to be supported.

The open question, and perhaps the only chance for Ravi to beat this charge, rests on whether he disabled the camera. Ravi claims he disabled the camera while the prosecution contends it was Clementi wa who disabled it. Who was responsible for turning the camera off was never fully answered.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...