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  CLEMENTI CASE

Defense’s Closing Argument: Dharun Ravi Did Not Bully Tyler Clementi For Being Gay

As he has maintained for the entirety of the case, Dharun Ravi’s lawyer Steven Altman said in his closing argument today that Ravi’s act of spying on Tyler Clementi was one of childish immaturity, rather than of anti-gay malice formed by an adult brain.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Altman argued the following:

“Why we’re here is because, on September 19 and September 21 of 2010, an 18-year-old boy, a kid, a college freshman, had an experience, had an encounter and he wasn’t ready for, that he didn’t expect, that he was surprised by, that he hadn’t anticipated… and he didn’t know how to deal with it because he was a kid, Nobody said anything negative about Tyler. They never heard one derogatory comment from Dharun.”

Of the spying, he justified it as Ravi trying to protect his belongings (particularly his beloved iPad) from a “homeless-looking” fellow who Tyler was hooking up with:

“Who wouldn’t be curious or concerned at this point?” Altman said. “It it’s your room and all of a sudden in a dorm for 18-year-olds somebody comes in looking scruffy—homeless-looking and suspicious-looking—and looks out of place…

“If there’s ugliness in Dharun’s heart, whether it be towards gays or Tyler? Is there a text is there an instant message? Is there an email? Is there some witness coming forward to tell you about some terrible conversation he had with Dharun on Sept 20th? Nothing.”

After Altman rested, Middlesex County prosecutor Julia McClure began her closing arguments, starting off with the fact that Ravi told friends his roommate was gay as soon as he knew who Tyler was.

Deliberation is expected to begin Wednesday. On Monday, Ravi decided not to take the stand in his own defense.

Ravi, now 20, is not implicated in Clementi’s death, but is charged with 15 counts of invasion of privacy, witness and evidence tampering and the hate crime of bias intimidation. He faces up to 10 years in jail, and could possibly deported to his native India because he is not an American citizen.

What do you guys think of these closing arguments? Is Ravi a clueless kid who was so intrigued by the foreignness of a gay roommate that he spied on him? Or does that creepy spying and his requests for friends to come spy with him, indicate he has hate for homosexuals in his heart?

By:           Evan Mulvihill
On:           Mar 13, 2012
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 45 Comments
    • Dave
      Dave

      Just charge him with spying or invasion of privacy and that’s it. This case should never have left a grand jury.

      Mar 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Austin
      Austin

      I’ve had wierd roommates that I didn’t know I could trust.
      And they did lots more wierd stuff than hook up.
      So I’m very sympathetic to being conserned about what’s going
      on in my home around my posessions while I’m gone.
      The only thing new here is the easy availability of setting

      Mar 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Dave:

      Thats what he HAS been charged with. They added a possible hate attachment because of enough witnesses that said that was the reasoning behind it. He isn’t charged with causing the suicide etc… If he was he would be up for a HELL of a lot more time than they are looking at giving him.

      Be prepared for about 5 trolls to come in here and lie about the case in Ravi’s favor.

      Mar 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Austin
      Austin

      the only thing new here is how easy it is to set up a webcam now.
      sorry – incomplete posting

      Mar 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Xerxes
      Xerxes

      He is charged with a HATE CRIME for going after Tyler Clementi because Tyler was gay. There is no question about it – Ravi sent out messages on social media “They’re doing it again . Watch tonight. ” He held a young gay man up to public ridicule only because Tyler was gay.
      The invasion of privacy is a separate crime. Ravi acted in a horrible way to demean another person for his own jollies.

      Mar 13, 2012 at 5:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mrs. Robinson
      Mrs. Robinson

      Deport him.

      Mar 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lloyd
      lloyd

      One of the problems that the defense had was that it had to weave a story using parts of Ravi’s narrative that don’t seem credible–e.g., that the first viewing was “accidental,” that Ravi posted tweets because he “wanted advice,” that Ravi turned off the computer before the second viewing (when the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that Clementi did). After the failed second viewing, a friend contacted Ravi and noted that there was no feed the night before. Ravi explained that things got “messed up” and that a number of people had told him they had the same problem. When you have to defend a narrative with so many lies, the whole defense perspective looks bad. In addition, I don’t think Altman helped himself by his personal attacks on MB (he “didn’t belong there”) or Lokesh (“he hates me”).

      Mar 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Xerxes
      Xerxes

      @lloyd:

      Add to that, Ravi had his parents’ friends testifying that they knew he was not homophobic, although some admitted that they did not really talk to him about such matters, and that they had not spoken to him in months since before the incident. No peers, no friends of Ravi testified. The jury ain’t stupid. This guy is just a blight. He personally needs to be taught a lesson, and the hate crimes count sends a warning shot to others of his ilk.
      I actually think that Ravi may be gay, and that he was disassociating himself with his roommate because he was not comfortable to come out himself. The fact is that Ravi seemed fascinated by it all, and he seems further fascinated by the fact that even a nerdy guy like Tyler was brave enough to go and do what you are supposed to do in college, to grow up, and to take steps to be more comfortable with who you are. Yet, Ravi thought that this was all something that should be broadcast as widely as possible solely for the purpose of degrading his roommate, disseminated all over campus. I really feel for Tyler. The poor guy should not have had to endure you, Ravi.

      Mar 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JAW
      JAW

      If Ravi was homophobic… then why did he not try to change rooms before school even started?
      Tyler said some nasty things about Ravi on his tweets/texts… Nobody has called him racist… nor am I

      We do not know if Ravi would have done the same if Tyler brought a girl.

      This is very sad… 2 young lives are ruined forever. One sadly has left us forever… The other has to live with it for the rest of his life… and he may even be deported and separated from his family.

      Ravi does need punishment… I am just not sure what it is

      Mar 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nick
      Nick

      I personally think that the hate crime of bias intimidation charge is pretty apt. The defense’s closing argument is weak. “Beloved iPad”? Is he for real? If this guest of Tyler’s stole something then the fair thing to do would be to make Tyler replace it. It seems that Ravi was trying to teach him a lesson by broadcasting a personal moment. You can’t buy a life back and it is a damn shame that this young man felt the need to take his own because he was ridiculed. The whole student body who participated in it should be ashamed as well. Ravi deserves what he gets and hopefully the jury will see that.

      Mar 13, 2012 at 7:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TJ
      TJ

      Deport, deport, deport!

      Mar 13, 2012 at 7:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Drew
      Drew

      I don’t think that Ravi should be deported then again LGBT People who are hypocrites are going to use this as an excuse to be racist towards Asians like Ravi and Molly as they did when this story first broke.

      Mar 13, 2012 at 7:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cwm
      cwm

      The defense’s closing argument appealed–rather effectively, I’d guess–to the homophobia of the jury. In similar instances, the Peeping Tom aspect would be what makes people uncomfortable. But in this case? Simply play on unease among the jurors about “dudes having sex.”

      Thus Ravi’s attorney makes them sympathize more with the voyeur. That stuff about how Ravi was exposed to something that made him uncomfortable, and he was too immature to know how to react? Gay panic defense. Can’t get away with it during the trial proper, so make it the subtext of your closing argument instead.

      Ravi’s gonna walk. Despite the weight of evidence against him. And coming off as unlikable in general.

      Mar 13, 2012 at 8:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pete88
      Pete88

      #11 cwm, Ravi was not actually exposed to anything. He exposed Tyler. He was the voyeur. Was he really uncomfortable, or fascinated? After all, he went back for more.He got off on sharing his fascination.

      Mar 13, 2012 at 9:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cwm
      cwm

      @Pete88: Not quite the point I’d been attempting to make.

      I’m saying: Ravi’s defense lawyer–in his closing argument–made it sound as if his client was the one who’d been harmed, by having to witness the traumatic sight of gay sex. Despite Ravi having been snooping.

      Yeah, it’s absurd. Roughly equivalent to, “Your face got in the way of my fist.”

      I don’t hope Ravi walks, just because his attorney succeeds in using a “gay panic” defense. But it’s probably going to happen.

      Mar 13, 2012 at 9:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Something completely missing: the WSJ article QUEERTY linked to stated, “M.B. told the jury he saw a camera pointed at Clementi’s bed on Sept. 19, but other witnesses who saw the encounter testified that the camera was pointed at the door and towards Ravi’s bed. The defense attorney described use of the webcam in this way as Ravi’s right.” This is new information – not previously reported on QUEERTY and nothing I found previously on a few quick google searches for articles. It may be sufficient to raise reasonable on the part of the jury as to whether Ravi reasonably expected to see a sexual encounter (even just a kiss). It might be hard to judge where a cam was directed, particularly if you
      do not know its field of view, so I don’t think M.B. was lying, but it is possible that he understandably misinterpreted what he saw. Certainly you can argue that Ravi would not have expected to see Tyler and his friend in a sexual encounter in Ravi’s bed, and Ravi might not have determined the field of view accurately (or the web cam might have been pushed a tad to one side accidentally). That information makes the case for the initial viewing less compelling.

      Now, if Ravi had sent a text or email to a friend after he and Molly Wei had viewed the couple kissing asking others to look at the video feed on Sept 19, that would be a pretty clear violation of the law – asking people to view it when you know there is a sexual encounter going on is a third-degree crime under the NJ laws. but from what I had seen previously, I don’t think that is the case.

      The jury’s decision might depend on the network traffic data, particularly on Sept 21.
      Clementi apparently shut off the power strip, and seeing zero network traffic is consistent with that. If he used a server, you can probabably tell of the traffic to the server (if only keep-alive messages) went away before Ravi’s computer lost power. Otherwise you have to know what sort of Internet address Ravi’s computer had. If it is in the range of addresses that are used in private networks, he would need to use a server somewhere – not necessarily to relay video but to indicate the IP address and TCP or UDP port number needed to connect to Ravi’s computer. These typically use timeouts so there should have been a low-bandwidth stream of keep-alive messages. Were such messages ever seen?

      If Ravi had second thoughts and shut everything down before Tyler and M.B. showed up, then would he be guilty? The law makes it illegal to advertise a video under these circumstances, but what happens if the video never existed in any form? If I sent a message saying, “iChat with me to see my friend having sex” could I get in trouble given that I don’t use iChat at all? It gets a bit tricky.

      Mar 13, 2012 at 9:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MKisNE
      MKisNE

      Wow so being a dick is going to help Ravi get off? I don’t understand lawyers. “homeless looking”. well then point your camera at your desk, and maybe clue your roommate in.

      Mar 13, 2012 at 9:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Darwin
      Darwin

      If he wanted to protect his property, he should have had the webcam pointing at his side of the room, where his property resides. Why would a straight guy want to watch his gay roommate having sex, and then call and email others so they could watch too? I know some women like watching two men having sex, but straight guys usually shy away from it. There is so much free porn on the web, if he was curious he could have done better than taping his roommate.

      I also don’t understand why this would make Tyler suicidal? He was out to his family, had complained to the school about his assshat roommate, so the school knew he was gay. What was on this recording that went beyond just being embarrassing? There must have been some underlying depression or something that no one knew about.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 12:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 16 · Darwin wrote, “If he wanted to protect his property, he should have had the webcam pointing at his side of the room, where his property resides.”

      The Wall Street Journal article QUEERTY linked to states that some witnesses said that the webcam was pointed towards Ravi’s bed and the door – Tyler and M.B. were supposedly at the edge of the frame.

      If Ravi couldn’t view all of his property, the one thing he’d want to cover is the door. assuming his story/excuse is true. The conditions for an invasion of privacy to be criminal in NJ are “if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, and under circumstances in which a reasonable person would know that another may expose intimate parts or may engage in sexual penetration or sexual contact, he observes another person without that person’s consent and under circumstances in which a reasonable person would not expect to be observed.” A reasonable person would not expect his own bed to be the location where he roommate would “expose intimate body parts” or “engage in sexual penetration or sexual contact.”

      If the jury buys that statement (and it was made by witnesses according to the WSJ), it could easily decide to find Ravi not guilty of the invasion of privacy charge for the viewing in Molly Wei’s room. If Ravi told others to look on that day or looked a second time, when he knew more was being caught by the cam, Ravi would definitely deserve to be found guilty for his behavior on Sept 19.

      Regarding Darwin’s other questions: there was apparently no recording made at all. I guess it’s possible that Ravi told Tyler there was one and threatened to use it but that is just a guess – we simply don’t know what went on.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 2:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chad
      Chad

      If he was so worried about his Ipad being stolen, why didn’t he take it with him?

      Mar 14, 2012 at 7:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Keith Farrell
      Keith Farrell

      I think this person is resposible, how would a steraight couple feel if their sexual acts we being posted on the internet with the same sort of comments. sorry, give him a long time in jail, then deport him. you dont want this type of person in your country

      Mar 14, 2012 at 7:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ousslander
      ousslander

      @Chad: thats like saying if she was afraid of being raped, she shouldn’t dress slutty.

      I think the bias intimidation charges are wrong. He should be nailed on invasion of privacy charges.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Codswallop
      Codswallop

      So was Dharun Ravi’s iPad some special NEW kind that weighs 300lbs and isn’t PORTABLE like every other iPad in the world? Because most people who don’t want their iPad stolen just TAKE IT WITH THEM! And if they want to protect their property they point their security camera AT the property, NOT somebody else’s bed! “Gee, officer, I was so worried my house might be broken into so I aimed a camera in my neighbor’s bedroom window!”

      Mar 14, 2012 at 9:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • disco lives
      disco lives

      I used to lock my valuables in a big suitcase back in college assuming that nobody would drag a big suitcase out of my room and chainsaw it open. Not rocket science.

      Deport him.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @TJ:

      Was that an Ab/Fab Reference?! LOL

      Mar 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 18 · Chad wrote, “If he was so worried about his Ipad being stolen, why didn’t he take it with him?” Apparently he was going to take a shower and then go to someone else’s room. Since water isn’t all that great for electronics, it would have had to have been left out of his sight no matter what. That’s a least a possible reason. While he ended up in Molly Wei’s room, he might not have known if she was there when he left his own room, and might not have wanted to risk having to leave the iPad unattended while in the shower.

      Or maybe he just didn’t think if he was in a hurry.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 1:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 7 · lloyd wrote, “One of the problems that the defense had was that it had to weave a story using parts of Ravi’s narrative that don’t seem credible–e.g., that the first viewing was “accidental,” that Ravi posted tweets because he “wanted advice,” that Ravi turned off the computer before the second viewing (when the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that Clementi did).”

      The defense has a decent argument that the first viewing was accidental – testimony that the web cam was pointed towards Ravi’s bed and the door, not Tyler’s bed (they apparently saw Tyler and MB on the edge of the frame). This isn’t Ravi’s statement but the statement of witnesses. Otherwise, I thought Ravi’s claim was that he shut off the chat session, which is not the same as shutting off the computer.

      Clementi apparently shut off the computer and the network traffic backs that statement up. However, if the iChat session was running and it was using a server somewhere on the internet to relay packets, there should have been periodic messages going between them. This is the standard procedure – you don’t want the server maintaining a connection (which takes memory) indefinitely if a client loses power and can’t send an indication that it is dropping a connection. So, there is a possibility of determining if Ravi’s chat program was still running after he claimed it was shut down. I’d trust network data more than anything Ravi (or any of the non-expert witnesses) said.

      Even if Ravi’s computer was handling all the video traffic for multiple viewers, he would most likely still need to use a server so that others could find his IP address (e.g., because the address is assigned via DHCP and he gets a different one each time the computer is turned on). If Rutgers keeps its students on a private network and uses NAT for Internet access, he’d need periodic packets going out and/or in to avoid having his NAT mappings removed. A lot of that was probably covered in the testimony from Rutgers’ IT guy, but it is rather dull and boring to most people, so it is not surprising if that would not be relayed in press reports.

      Finally, if there was some confusion about where the web cam was actually pointed on Sept 19, there could be some similar confusion on Sept 21 and the jury might take that as reasonable doubt. I sort of recall one witness – a guy who let Ravi use his computer as Ravi tested the viewing angle – had been folding clothes or something like that when this was going on. Could he have confused Ravi’s bed with Tyler’s? He might not have looked very closely. The jury might consider that sort of possibility in determining if there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @B: said…


      No. 18 · Chad wrote, “If he was so worried about his Ipad being stolen, why didn’t he take it with him?” Apparently he was going to take a shower and then go to someone else’s room. Since water isn’t all that great for electronics, it would have had to have been left out of his sight no matter what.”
      __________________

      Weird how anybody reciting this story forgets to mention that he went straight to Molly Wei’s room for the viewing. I guess everybody would rather forget about her testimony.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Giovannidude
      Giovannidude

      @B:

      He was in a hurry all right. In a hurry to watch Tyler getting it on with “another dude”, the shady guy. You know, the homeless man.

      Which are stupider…the dumbass excuses made to provide cover for what Ravi did, or the Technobabble about the computer webcam not focused on Tyler’s bed…despite sworn testimony by a witness that it was…and even if it was, it didn’t matter. Except maybe to the two guys who were getting it on, perhaps.

      I understand the desperate need some people (homophobes) have to see Ravi walk and never enter Rahway State Prison, because, like his lawyer said, Ravi was just an innocent boy, you understand, at the time of the alleged crime(s). Just an innocent boy up against a shady homeless man bent on stealing his iPad! Like Ravi came from a deprived family or something — he actually looked down on Tyler as being from a poor background.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 6:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lloyd
      lloyd

      On September 22 Ravi responded to a message that a friend had tried to connect with his iChat the night before but was unable to. Ravi said that things “got messed up” and that a number of people had told him the same thing. Doesn’t sound to me that Ravi was the one who messed things up, especially since on the way to Ultimate Frisbee practice and after practice he was still encouraging people to watch in conversations with them (noted by several witnesses). In regard to the angle of the cam, two witnesses testified that they helped Ravi in testing the function and position of the cam for September 21. And regardless of the cam’s position, the attempted spying was an invasion of privacy. I might add that it would take a pretty dense juror to think that the viewing party invitation, along with “happening again,” “could get nasty,” and “I dare you,” was actually an invitation to watch suspected thievery. (Even spying on that, of course, would be invasion of privacy.)

      Mar 14, 2012 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Giovannidude
      Giovannidude

      What is really outrageous is the homophobes who come on here with their far-fetched excuses for what Ravi did and their pie-in-the-sky scenarios for transforming what actually happened into an innnocent prank by Ravi, an innocent boy. And parsing every incriminating word that Ravi said. His words speak for themselves. Enough with the lame excuses!

      I think we can understand why you want to taunt us with this Ravi-is-just-an-innocent-boy BS! And the real reason you want Ravi to walk: it’s because you consider Tyler Clementi to be subhuman, because he was gay and actually having gay sex. We get it. We’re gay. We’re used to being kicked around and being humiliated and discriminated against by homophobes who want to twist words and come up with far-fetched scenarios. This isn’t our first rodeo, you know. But I think any one of you closet cases could have done a better job defending Ravi than his poor lawyer did.

      If I was sitting on that Middlesex County Superior Court jury, I would be telling the other jurors, look, there is the defense of Ravi. Then there is what really happened.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 6:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TJ
      TJ

      @Cam: @CAM

      Yes, you get me, but Patsy said, ‘abort, abort, abort’! But seriously, he should be convicted, then deported.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 7:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 26 · Cam “Weird how anybody reciting this story forgets to mention that he went straight to Molly Wei’s room for the viewing. I guess everybody would rather forget about her testimony.”

      I’ll refer Cam to http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/03/ravi_lawyer_cross-examines_mb.html which points out, “M.B. repeated what he said earlier in the day on direct examination, that Ravi was laying in his bed when M.B. entered. M.B. said he didn’t expect Ravi would be there. Ravi left the room, M.B. said, then returned, “walked to his desk, shuffled around a bit, then walked out,” he said. “I had just assumed he forgot something,” M.B. said. He acknowledged that he and Clementi “started to get intimate together within those two seconds of Dharun leaving the room and entering the room.” Ravi was about to take a shower, and was holding a towel and shower caddy, Altman said, though M.B. said he couldn’t remember.”

      BTW, taking a show before viewing the web cam actually makes the evidence worse for Ravi – the more time that elapsed between leaving the room and viewing the web cam, the more credible it is that Ravi violated the letter of the law because you would not reasonably expect that someone would start taking off their clothes and engaging in some form of sexual activity seconds after one left the room. The WSJ article QUEERTY linked to above, however, claimed that witnesses stated that the cam was pointed towards Ravi’s bed and the door, not Clementi’s bed. The defense is hoping that will convince the jury that Ravi did not try or expect to see anything of a sexual nature.

      As a hint to Cam, unless you are sitting glued to a radio listening the trial all day long, the version of the testimony you see are sound bytes relayed by a reporter. Important facts may be missing, and then there are the occasional errors in the quotes or paraphrases.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 7:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      I think the bias intimidation should stick. Ravi’s issue was not with Tyler wanting privacy, not with him having sex, but with Tyler’s having SAME SEX SEX. Plenty of sex goes on in college dorms, and everyone knows it. They are notorious for it. If this had been a heterosexual encounter, no one, including Dhuran Ravi, would have said a word.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 8:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 27 · Giovannidude wrote, “@B: He was in a hurry all right. In a hurry to watch Tyler getting it on with “another dude”, the shady guy. You know, the homeless man.”

      … which is why they shut it off immediately, with some witnesses claiming that the cam was really pointed at Ravi’s bed and the door? Your assumption as to why he was in a hurry is just a guess that may or may not be true. The problem is that you need truth beyond a reasonable doubt to get a conviction, assuming the jury does its job properly.

      When you say things like, “Technobabble about the computer webcam not focused on Tyler’s bed,” I’ve really got to wonder about you: the Wall Street Journal article that QUEERTY linked to ( http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2012/03/13/tyler-clementi-case-after-delay-rutgers-spying-trial-nears-close/ ) stated that some witnesses said that the cam was pointed at Ravi’s bed and the door. It is not unheard of for witnesses to disagree on the facts or to be confused about that they saw. The problem for the jury is deciding which witness to believe and whether the contradictions suggest reasonable doubt. Do you really think the jury is not going to pay attention to such an issue?

      Now, if there is evidence of text messages or emails asking others to view it on Sept 19, after Ravi’s two-second viewing, then Ravi would be likely to be convicted – the cam was on and he would have invited others to view a sexual encounter that he knew could be seen. For Sept 21, he allegedly had second thoughts before anything happened. He advertised a viewing but is claimed to have shut off the cam before the victims showed up. It’s kind of like planning a burglary doing some preparations (buying tools, etc.) and then saying, “you know, this really isn’t such a good idea.” So he advertised a non-existent event. The problem is for the jury to decide whether to believe him. Since Tyler Clementi turned off the computer completely, that might make it harder to determine objectively if Ravi is lying or not. It’s also the reason that details regarding the network traffic are important – if you can show from it that Ravi in fact terminated the chat session as he claimed, you can also show if he is lying and didn’t terminate it.

      I think there’s a chance he’ll be convicted of something, but also a chance that he’ll get off completely. It’ll depend on how well the defense convinced the jury that there is reasonable doubt. The term “reasonable doubt” does not mean the defendant didn’t do something pretty bad, but that the prosecution has not adequately proved its case. Ravi has a reasonable defense – it’s not like Chicolini’s defense in Duck Soup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEabC9WzHck which is about as unreasonable a defense as one could imagine.

      Something for Giovannidude to keep in mind, though: a discussion of how the trail could turn out given the evidence and what strategies the defense might use is not an argument for or against Ravi. Anyone who can’t understand that probably should not bother posting comments at all.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 8:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Macmantoo
      Macmantoo

      Ah put him in prison and let him be Bubba’s girlfriend.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Giovannidude
      Giovannidude

      @B: Your long-winded defenses of Ravi show how deeply invested you are in his being found not guilty no matter what. They tell us a lot more about you than the Ravi case.

      At least you realize Ravi may be found guilty on some of the charges. You probably think that’s awful, a big miscarriage of justice no doubt in your mind.

      Maybe you could explain why you are siding with the immature jerk Ravi instead of the gay teen Tyler who committed suicide, who everyone said was a sweet kid. I assume the real reason may be that you’re a closet case homophobe.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 35 · Giovannidude wrote, “@B: Your long-winded defenses of Ravi show how deeply invested you are in his being found not guilty.” …. the sort of comment that shows just how dumb you are. I never “defended” him but rather pointed out what sort of arguments the defense might use. It’s not like I’d lose any sleep if he’s convicted on all counts, although I think that is unlikely given the testimony.

      He’ll probably get off on the bias charge. He has a good chance of getting off on the witness-tampering charge because the witness didn’t feel pressured.

      So, the most likely outcome is that he either gets off or gets convicted for some of the invasion of privacy counts, but not all of them due to the “reasonable doubt” the defense attorney was able to raise.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 10:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • drums
      drums

      He didn’t bully him for being gay, he bullied him for being gay AND a bit of an awkward social outsider AND kind of poor AND hooking up with someone who also looked poor. That’s okay, right?

      Mar 15, 2012 at 1:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NYCGuy85
      NYCGuy85

      Not Defending What Ravi Did. But it’s possible that Clementi was mentally fragile and this thing pushed him over the edge. I read the testimony and doesn’t seem he was targeted cause he was gay, just an awful prank that led to tragedy. No hate crime, bias intimidation. I think he gets acquitted on that account. We have to look at these things logically.

      Mar 15, 2012 at 2:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cwm
      cwm

      @NYCGuy85: (one more time…but I’m sure I won’t be the last one to type this reminder)

      Ravi isn’t on trial for Clementi’s suicide.

      As soon as Ravi got ahold of his roommate’s email address, he began a long campaign of surveillance, gathering all the info he could. He demonstrated an anxious need to know everything about Clementi’s personal life–when?–well, as soon as he learned he’d be having a gay roommate. (Gotta “keep the gay away,” as he wrote.)

      The two webcam incidents–when Ravi’s interest went from unusual curiosity, to Peeping Tom territory–were the apex of his obsessive amateur private-detecting. Seems likely some of the more-subtle (relatively speaking!) forms of snooping would’ve continued. If Tyler had still been around. For Ravi, it was a frequent preoccupation.

      Then there was his insincere can’t-we-just-get-along message: every word strongly suggesting Clementi was at fault for the whole “misunderstanding,” because he failed to be: sufficiently unconcerned, extroverted or what?

      (When your roomie’s demeanor and behavior constantly send the message, “Must not let myself be infected by TEH GAY.” To pretend to be friendly, in Tyler’s situation: that would’ve felt as if he were debasing himself…and for what? To avoid offending someone who’s being offensive?)

      doesn’t seem he was targeted cause he was gay

      Right. The target of that “awful prank” was chosen at random. Or: just because he was Ravi’s roommate, and sexual orientation had nothing to do with it?

      “I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”

      It. was. because. he. was. Gay.

      Mar 15, 2012 at 4:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @B: said..

      “He’ll probably get off on the bias charge. He has a good chance of getting off on the witness-tampering charge because the witness didn’t feel pressured.”
      ___________________

      B, come on, I get that you feel that Ravi shouldn’t be on trial, but you shouldn’t leave out details. Part of the obstruction charges is tampering with “EVIDENCE” which includes his deleating tweets, telling witnesses to lie etc…

      Mar 15, 2012 at 8:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      At the very least, he should automatically be found guilty for invasion of privacy, as being a peeping tom is illegal.

      Mar 15, 2012 at 9:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Xerxes
      Xerxes

      @NYCGuy85:

      It’s especially the fragile among us who need the protections of the hate crimes laws the most. No one should be a victim of homophobia. People should not have to wear a sign saying “I’m close to my breaking point because of homophobia” so that the likes of Dhuran Ravi are protected. Hate crimes are bad for all society, especially the fragile. I applaud New Jersey for bringing this prosecution.

      Mar 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jordan
      Jordan

      Xerxes-Are they actually going to try to charge Ravi with a hate crime? I thought this long and drawn out trial that never should have left a grand jury was just about Ravi spying and recording Tyler without consent?

      Mar 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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