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Lawyer says ex Indian-origin Rutgers student is 'curious kid, not a homophobic bully'

Washington, Wed, 14 Mar 2012 ANI

Washington, Mar 14(ANI): A former Indian-origin Rutgers student, who used a web camera to spy on his gay room-mate' was described as a curious 'kid' rather than a 'criminally homophobic bully'.


Dharun Ravi's defence lawyer Steven Altman said during closing arguments in the trial, that his client had merely wanted to protect his possessions from his room-mate, Tyler Clementi.


"Why we're here is because an 18-year-old boy, a kid, a college freshman, had an experience, had an encounter that he wasn't ready for," Altman said, adding that his client had made an innocent mistake when he activated a web camera to spy on the Clementi' encounter with a date.


Altman portrayed Ravi as a confused teenager who was troubled to discover that his room-mate was inviting a strange, "scruffy" older man for sexual encounters in the small dormitory room they had shared for less than a month, The Telegraph reports.


Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after he came to know that his encounter had been web-streamed.


Ravi, who sent a series of text messages, emails and Tweets to his friends informing them about Clementi's encounter, was not charged with Clementi's death but charged with 15 counts, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, and is likely to face upto ten years in prison.


Prosecutor Alison McClure said the entire case was motivated by Ravi's attitude towards Clementi's sexual orientation, adding that the former had attempted a "cover-up" to hide his guilt.


"He was targeting his room-mate because he wasn't what he wanted his college experience to be. He didn't want to have a gay room-mate and he was going to use it to his advantage to expose Tyler's sexuality," she said. (ANI)



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