Clementi's Lover 'Uncomfortable' with Webcam Pointed on Them
Mystery man "M.B." testifies in trial against Dharun Ravi, the Rutgers roommate of Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide after allegedly having his trysts broadcast by Ravi in September of 2010
Tyler Clementi's lover saw the webcam of Dharun Ravi turned to him when they were intimate and thought it "strange," according to published reports from the trial.
"I had just glanced over my shoulder and I noticed there was a webcam that was faced toward the direction of the bed," said the man, identified only by the initials M.B., according to CBS News. "Just being in a compromising position and seeing a camera lens – it just stuck out to me."
Clementi, of Ridgewood, committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge just days after his Rutgers roommate, Dharun Ravi, now 20, allegedly placed his webcam atop his computer aimed toward Clementi's bed in the fall of 2010.
The prosecution has charged Ravi, of Plainsboro, with bias intimidation and invasion of privacy for the alleged acts, which they say were targeted at Clementi because he's gay. Ravi could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charge – a hate crime – and faces possible deportation if he's found guilty of any of the charges. Ravi is not charged in connection to Clementi's suicide.
Ravi previously declined a deal that would have greatly cut down on possible jail time, with his lawyer Steven Altman saying he may have been immature but did nothing criminal.
His defense throughout the trial has pressed witnesses if Ravi had ever expressed hatred toward Clementi or made disparaging remarks regarding his sexuality. No witness said he had, though Geoffrey Irving, an Ultimate Frisbee teammate, testified that Ravi "appeared uncomfortable" with Clementi's sexuality.
Irving said that he planned to watch him via the webcam on a second occasion. Ravi is alleged to have put a call out on social media with an invitation to watch the tryst between the two men.
Several acquaintances of Ravi's previously testified that he'd broadcast streaming video of two shirtless men kissing, but that was all.
Audio and video recording of the M.B.'s testimony was not permitted Friday in an effort to protect his identity.
M.B. testified he met Clementi on a social networking site for gay men and met for the first time on Sept. 16, three days before the alleged spying, according to a report on NBC News Philadelphia. That night, according to testimony, M.B. left before 2 a.m., when Ravi was expected back in the room.
On his second night, he had sex with Clementi and noticed the webcam for the first time, according to The Star-Ledger.
This was the night that Ravi and a friend used the webcam, according to earlier testimony. About five students stared at M.B. when he left building that night, he testified. M.B. said he “could hear people talking in the courtyard — people joking, people laughing. It seemed like the jokes were at somebody else’s expense," The Star-Ledger reported.
M.B. says that he returned to Clementi's room on Sept. 21. Ravi allegedly attempted to use the webcam again that night, but Clementi had unplugged it.
Ravi’s lawyers have claimed he used the webcam because he was concerned his belongings, like an iPad, would be stolen by M.B., according to northjersey.com. Students had testified M.B. appeared "shady" and scruffy, with a large beard and a generally unkempt appearance.
The case is expected to last about three-to-four weeks.