The trial of Rutgers Student Dharun Ravi—who stands accused of invasion of privacy, bias intimindation and other crimes leading up to the suicide of his roommate, Tyler Clementi—continued today with testimony that could punch a whole in his defense.
A police detective testified Clementi checked Ravi’s Twitter feed 38 times in 48 hours before his death, and took a screen shot of two messages posted there, reports CBS News. Also taking the stand was Gary Charydczak, who confirmed Clementi stored the Twitter messages.
In one, Ravi posted that he saw Clementi “making out with a dude.” (Clementi saved that tweet about 1am on September. 21, 2010.)
In the other, Ravi dared others to watch a webcam video Ravi allegedly made to spy on Clementi’s second tryst with M.B.
Ravi has previously tried to deny arranging for any kind of viewing party of his illicit spying on his roommate, and that the cam was there to make sure nothing was stolen.
According to CBS:
Authorities say Ravi did use his webcam to see his roommate and another man kissing on Sept. 19 and viewed it from the room across the hall from his own.
Charydczak testified that the computer of dorm resident Molly Wei had a record of a videochat Sept. 19 at about the time she said that she and Ravi briefly used it to see Clementi and the other man kissing.
Prosecutors also have been building the case that Ravi went to the rooms of dorm mates that evening to test his webcam and used Hayes’ testimony to corroborate that. He said there was a web chat between his computer and Lokesh Ojha’s at 6:58 p.m. that evening, and another with Alissa Agarwal starting 46 minutes later.
Setting aside how cruel Ravi’s actions were, it’s kind of stunning that someone who clearly had a sophisticated understanding of computers, spycams and social-networking programs didn’t think he’d be easily found out. He pretty much left an electronic breadcrumb trail for authorities to piece together what happened.
Ravi couldn’t have known Clementi was going to take his own life, but wouldn’t he have at least considered someone was going to try and turn him in? He was broadcasting his plans on Twitter, for crying out loud!
Or maybe Ravi is just the sociopath witness testimony is painting him to be.