Washington, Oct 21 : An Indian-origin student in America’s Rutgers University, who was accused of using a webcam to spy on his roommate’s intimate encounter with another man, will stand trial in February next year after he refused a plea deal that would have limited his time behind bars to five years.
A trial date for 19-year-old Dharun Ravi, has been set for February 21. If convicted, Ravi would face ten years or more in prison, the New York Post reports.
Ravi is facing 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, a hate crime, in the webcam-spying case involving the suicide of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi in September 2010.
During a pretrial hearing, Ravi said ‘yes’ when New Jersey Superior Court judge asked him whether he understood the risks he faces by appearing in court.
Judge Glenn Berman ruled that Ravi’s lawyer should not have access to his personal writings, including documents found on his computer.
Berman reiterated his earlier ruling that Ravi, his lawyer and his lawyer’s investigator should be given the name and birth date of the man who had the encounter with Clementi, but with the caveat that they not give that information to anyone else.
On Thursday, the man, identified in court papers only as M. B., was represented in court by Richard Pompelio, a victims’ rights lawyer who argued that his right to privacy outweighs Ravi’s need to have information to defend himself.
According to the report, Ravi’s lawyer, Steven Altman, contended that the name of the man, who is considered both a victim and a witness in the case, is necessary for his client, even though the man has said he does not want to speak with defense lawyers. (ANI)