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Testimony: Student in spying case adjusted webcam for better view of roommate's encounter
NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (AP) ' A student gave some of the most damaging testimony yet Wednesday in a former classmate's trial for allegedly using a webcam to spy on his roommate's intimate encounter with another man.
Lokesh Ojha described helping the defendant, Indian-born Dharun Ravi, adjust his webcam for a clear view of his roommate's bed. Authorities say Ravi had already spied on roommate Tyler Clementi once and said he was intending to do it again.
A day later, Clementi jumped to his death from a New York City bridge.
His September 2010 death drew national attention to the challenges facing young gays and lesbians in U.S. society.
Ravi is charged with 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, a hate crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Ravi's defense lawyer, Steven Altman, has asked testifying each student whether Ravi ever said bad things about Clementi or gay people in general. Each has said no. The prosecution has said Ravi's actions were motivated by malice toward gays.
Ojha said he tried to connect with Ravi's webcam on Sept. 21, the night Ravi posted on Twitter: "Anyone with iChat, I dare you to videochat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes, it's happening again."
There's a chance that prosecutors on Thursday will call the man students said was kissing Clementi in the streaming video. He's been identified in court papers so far only by his initials, M.B., because prosecutors say he's the victim of a sex crime.
Also Wednesday, jurors heard Clementi's own words for the first time when they were read a bit of an email he sent his dormitory's resident assistant about the alleged spying.
In the email, Clementi he was "extremely uncomfortable sharing a room with someone who would act in this manner."
Follow Mulvihill at http://www.twitter.com/geoffmulvihill.