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Entries in Cyberbullying (15)

Tuesday
Jun192012

Former Rutgers Student Dharun Ravi Released from Jail

ABC/LOU ROCCO(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- Former Rutgers student Dharun Ravi was released from jail on Tuesday after serving 20 days of his 30-day sentence for spying on his roommate Tyler Clementi's gay tryst. Clementi committed suicide days later.

Ravi, 20, was let go early from the Middlesex County Jail because he had received a 10-day credit for good behavior.

After his conviction for bias intimidation, Judge Glenn Berman also sentenced Ravi to three years probation, ordered him to complete 300 hours of community service and attend counseling programs for cyber-bullying and alternative lifestyles.

Ravi must also pay a $10,000 assessment to the probation department in increments of $300 per month beginning on Aug. 1.  The money will go to groups that support victims of bias crimes.

Ravi, who is not a U.S. citizen, also faced the possibility of being deported, but U.S. immigration officials said this week that they will not pursue deportation for the Indian native.

Prosecutors have been asking an appeals court for a longer sentence while Ravi is appealing his conviction.

"I do not believe he hated Tyler Clementi," the judge told the court when Ravi was sentenced.  "He had no reason to, but I do believe he acted out of colossal insensitivity."

Berman berated Ravi for not apologizing for his actions.

"I heard this jury say, 'guilty' 288 times -- 24 questions, 12 jurors.  That's the multiplication," Berman said.  "I haven't heard you apologize once."

Ravi was convicted of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, witness tampering and hindering arrest, stemming from his role in activating the webcam to peek at Clementi's date with a man in the dorm room on Sept. 19, 2010.  Ravi was also convicted of encouraging others to spy during a second date, on Sept. 21, 2010, and intimidating Clementi for being gay.

On May 29, Ravi released an apology and statement to notify Berman that he would begin serving his 30-day sentence.

"I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices that I made on September 19, 2010 and September 21, 2010," he wrote.  "My behavior and action, which at no time were motivated by hate, bigotry, prejudice or desire to hurt, humiliate or embarrass anyone, were nonetheless the wrong choices and decisions."

Clementi's parents slammed Ravi's apology for spying on Clementi's gay date as "no apology at all, but a public relations piece."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May012012

Georgia Teen Sues Cyberbullying Classmates

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(ACWORTH, Ga.) -- A Georgia teenager is suing two of her classmates for creating a cruel Facebook page in her name after school officials and authorities said the matter was out of their control.

Alex Boston, 14, of Acworth, Ga., was enjoying her school's Field Day celebration for the end of the school year in May 2011 when annoyed classmates began to approach her.

"A little bit into the morning, her friends started coming up to her and saying, 'Why are you saying nasty things on Facebook about me?'" Alex's father Chris Boston told ABC News.

"She took off to the bathroom and hid," Boston said. "When she got home, she was crying."

Alex told her parents what had happened and they sat down at their home computers to find the page. When they did, they were horrified by what they saw.

Next to a distorted photo of Alex, it said that the languages she speaks were English and "Retardish." There were posts about false sexual exploits, links to racist videos on YouTube and implications of drug use. And the creators of the page were using the account to post insults on the pages of other friends.

The "About Alex" section said, "I don't have many friends because I'm annoying and I poke people on my way to lunch so I get beat up a lot."

"It made me feel horrible because I didn't think it would happen to me," Alex Boston told ABC News' Atlanta affiliate WSBTV.

Alex had never been the victim of bullying before, and her family immediately took action. Their first stop was Alex's school, Palmer Middle School. Chris Boston said school officials spoke to the two teens that made the page and they admitted to making it, but the school could take no further action since the cyber bullying was done off school property, from the students' home computers.

Meanwhile, they were repeatedly using Facebook's "report story or spam" function to try to get the page taken down, but it remained up.

"For the first several months, she kind of went into a shell," Chris Boston said of his daughter.

The family then went to the Cobb County Police Department to file an incident report.

Police notes on the report said: "Boston was advised to notify "Facebook" and request that the web page be shut down. Report was requested and generated for documentation purposes only. No further action required."

Most states, including Georgia, have laws against cyberbullying, but most of these laws do not cover bullying that occurs off of the school's campus.

"[We were] ticked off," Chris Boston said. "It was very frustrating to sit there and see your kid go through this and you can't get it to stop."

After all of the dead ends, the family sought legal help. Numerous lawyers turned down the case before Georgia attorneys Natalie Woodward and Corey Stern decided to meet with the family to hear their story.

The Boston family filed a lawsuit against the two teenagers who created the page as well as their parents, who provided their Internet service and computers. When the school would not give the Boston family or their attorneys the parents' name or addresses of the defendants, the students had to be served the lawsuit at school.

Woodward and Stern asked that the defendants not be named because they are under the age of 16 and have not yet responded to the lawsuit. They were served in April and have one month to respond to the suit. Woodward has not heard from the defendants' parents or any attorneys that may be representing them.

The lawsuit claims that the defendant's actions were "intentional and malicious and were done for the purpose of causing Plaintiff to suffer humiliation, mental anguish, embarrassment and emotional and physical distress."

It claims defamation and libel for the false statements and use of Alex's identity for the page. The Boston family is seeking a jury trial and punitive damages. In Georgia, plaintiffs do not determine the amount of monetary damages. That is determined by the court.

"I was protective of Alex because I didn't want her entire eighth grade year to be spent in litigation with two of her classmates," Woodward said. "She really felt like it was something that they had a moral obligation to address and if it brought attention to the issue and kept some other kids from being upset, hurt or even committing suicide, then it was a moral obligation on their part to do it."

The phoney page stayed up for nearly a year. It was not until after a television appearance by the Boston family last week that Facebook removed the page from the social media network.

Though Boston said it took his daughter a long time to feel comfortable at school again, she is now doing much better and nearly back to her old self.

"She's upbeat, having a good time and looking forward to summertime," he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr042012

'Annoying, Offending' Language Online Would Be Crime Under Arizona Bill

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- Distasteful comments and online insults are a mainstay of many social networks and online comment boards, but a new bill passed in Arizona could send people who "annoy or offend" to jail for up to six months.

House Bill 2549, which had bipartisan support, passed in the state's legislature and is awaiting one final vote on a minor "technical change" before the bill is sent to Gov. Jan Brewer.

The bill's sweeping language would severely inhibit First Amendment rights, David Horowitz, executive director of the Media Coalition in New York City, told ABC News.

"Even in talk radio, saying, 'I know this will offend my listeners' is a common practice. It's a tradition, speech that challenges the status quo," he said.

The bill states it would be a class one misdemeanor for anyone to "terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend" through electronic and digital devices. It does not provide definitions of the terms and what would be considered annoying or offensive.

In a letter to the governor, Horowitz urged a veto "to allow legislators to craft a narrower bill that addresses their concerns without infringing on the right of free speech."

He said her office acknowledged receiving the letter and said it would include it in a pack of materials for the governor to review before she makes her decision.

The governor's office said it would not comment until the legislation reached Brewer's desk.

State Rep. Steve Farley, one of the co-sponsors of the bill, said the intention is not to stifle free speech, but to protect victims of stalking and bullying.

"It doesn't mean that the person is instantly going to be fined or put away," Farley told ABC News. "But if the judge determines it relates to other circumstances in the case then they can use this as another tool to make that decision."

Including Arizona's existing law, 38 states have enacted legislation against electronic bullying, according to the Cyberbullying Research Center.

"I'm a defender of the Constitution like anyone else, but the First Amendment doesn't give you the right to harass or terrorize someone," said Justin Patchin, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center. "This certainly doesn't or wouldn't restrict one's freedom of speech. If it does, it will be overturned."

Patchin, who primarily studies cyberbullying in the adolescent community, said he has heard from an increasing number of adults who have been victims too and welcomes the legislation.

"We need to step back and realize there is some harmful stuff that is said out there," he said. "And it really needs to be stopped."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar152012

Rutgers Jury Ends First Day of Deliberations Without Verdict

ABC News(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- The jury in the trial of former Rutgers student Dharun Ravi completed its first day of deliberations on Wednesday without reaching a verdict on charges that he spied on his gay roommate Tyler Clementi.

Ravi, 20, is charged with multiple counts of invasion of privacy, tampering with evidence and bias intimidation -- a hate crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison -- for allegedly using his webcam to spy on Clementi with another man in their shared Rutgers dorm room just weeks into their freshman year.

It's a case that has generated 17 months of intense media attention after Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge in September 2010.

If convicted of the most serious charges, Ravi, an Indian citizen who grew up in New Jersey, could also be deported.

The jury of seven women and five men asked the judge for guidance on New Jersey's bias intimidation law shortly after beginning deliberations.  The issue of bias intimidation is the most serious charges against Ravi, which is required for a conviction of a hate crime.

The jurors deciding Ravi's fate range from young people in their 20s to grandparents in their 70s.  One is the mother of a 20-year-old who enjoys playing Frisbee, sharing Ravi's age and interest.  One is a freelance writer who is single and without any children, and another young juror said he still plays X-Box games in his free time.

In helping to select the jury for the defense, Joshua Dubin, a nationally renowned lawyer and legal consultant, told ABC News that he hoped the younger jurors can "educate the rest of the jury" about the mechanics of Twitter, Facebook and iChat since several pieces of key evidence involve Ravi's online posts about viewing his roommate on his webcam.

The defense team also sought jurors who would not be afraid of public backlash if they came to a "not guilty" verdict in a case that has captured the nation's attention.  Dubin cited the controversial 2011 Casey Anthony acquittal as a recent example of the pressures a juror might face.

He predicts a verdict from the jury by Friday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar142012

Rutgers Summations: Prosecution Calls 'Immature Kid' Defense False

ABC News(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- The trial of Rutgers student Dharun Ravi drew to a close Tuesday as prosecutors and defense lawyers sparred over whether Ravi's spying on his gay roommate Tyler Clementi was a criminal act by an anti-gay bigot or the "stupid" actions of an immature college freshman.

The closing summations in the webcam spying case against Ravi came after three weeks of testimony from 22 witnesses.

Ravi, 20, is on trial for allegedly invading Clementi's privacy after he activated a webcam and saw Clementi having an encounter with another man in their shared Rutgers dorm room on Sept. 19, 2010.  Ravi is accused of telling others about the webcam spying, and encouraging them to also watch during a subsequent Clementi date on Sept. 21.

In addition, Ravi is charged with bias intimidation, witness tampering and hindering arrest.

Clementi killed himself just days after the spying incident by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.  His death and the charges against Ravi sparked public outrage over cyber-bullying and gay-bullying among students.

Ravi is not charged in connection with Clementi's death.

During the state's closing argument on Tuesday, prosecutor Julie McClure repeatedly pointed out Ravi's messages to friends and Twitter followers that he had seen his roommate kissing another man on his webcam and encouraging them to see for themselves during a second date.

McClure referenced text messages and conversations Ravi had in which he talked about the spying and said he was "set up" to spy via webcam again.

His plans to spy for a second time were ultimately thwarted by Clementi, who unplugged Ravi's computer and disabled his webcam, McClure argued.  She challenged Ravi's claim that he turned off the webcam himself.

She also dismissed Ravi's claim that he peeked at his roommate's date because he feared the "creepy" guest would steal his iPad.  If he was that worried, he would have taken the iPad with him when he left, the prosecutor said.

In addition, she noted that Ravi's first reaction after tracking the name of his new roommate was to write to a friend, "F... my life. He's gay," something he repeated to other friends and teammates on Rutgers ultimate Frisbee team.

McClure asked the jury to imagine what it was like for Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman, to realize his roommate had spied on him and not knowing how many people may have watched.

"Three weeks into the semester and (Clementi) finds out that his sexual orientation has been broadcast to the defendant's twitter followers," McClure said.  "His private sexual activities have been exposed.  What do you think he's thinking?  'If Molly saw it, did Cassie see it?  Did people in the hall see it?  Did people in Davidson C see it?'  You don't think that he was intimidated by learning that information?  Fearful, embarrassed?  He'd been exposed."

Ravi's attorney, Steven Altman, argued during his four-hour summation that Ravi made one innocent mistake on Sept. 19, the night of Clementi's first date: he activated his webcam for two to five seconds to keep an eye on his belongings, and was surprised to see Clementi kissing another man.

"Why we're here is because on Sept. 19, and Sept. 21, 2010, an 18-year-old boy, a kid, a college freshman, had an experience, had an encounter that he wasn't ready for," Altman told the jury, claiming that Ravi reacted "immaturely" to what he saw on the screen.

The text messages and Twitter messages about a second viewing were nothing more than immature jokes, and Ravi never intended to spy for a second time, Altman argued.

The jury will reassemble at 9 a.m. Wednesday to hear the judge's instructions, which are expected to take about 90 minutes, before beginning deliberations over a verdict.

Ravi could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charges. 

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar132012

Rutgers Summation: Spying on Tyler Clementi an 'Innocent' Mistake

ABC News(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- Spying on Tyler Clementi's gay sexual encounter was an innocent mistake by Rutgers freshman Dharun Ravi, sparked by curiosity, not maliciousness, Ravi's attorney argued Tuesday in the closing summations of the Rutgers trial.

Ravi, 20, is on trial for allegedly invading Clementi's privacy after he activated a webcam and saw Clementi having a gay sexual encounter in their shared Rutgers dorm room on Sept. 19, 2010.  Ravi is accused of telling others about the webcam spying, and encouraging them to also watch during a subsequent Clementi date on Sept. 21.

In addition, Ravi is charged with bias intimidation, witness tampering and hindering arrest.

Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman, killed himself just days after the spying incident by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.  His death and the charges against Ravi sparked public outrage over cyber-bullying and gay-bullying among students.

Ravi, however, is not charged in connection with Clementi's death.

The defense's summation was interrupted on Tuesday when Ravi's attorney Steven Altman got sick while addressing the jury.  He asked the judge for a few minutes, but he never returned and after a while the courtroom was emptied.

Altman said his client made an immature mistake when he activated the webcam on Sept. 19 while Clementi had an older male guest in their dorm room.  When Ravi realized he was seeing a date, he turned the camera off.

Altman claims Ravi was peeking to check on his belongings because he felt that Clementi's date, identified only by his initials M.B., was older and scruffy looking.

"If his goal was to see anything sexual, you know you would have been hearing testimony in the last three weeks from somebody (about it)," Altman told the jury.  "But the webcam was on a very short time, two to five seconds, and that tells you why they went on on Sept. 19.  It was curiosity, to see what's going on, to find out what was that guy doing there."

In a New Jersey courtroom packed with two dozen members of Clementi's family and friends, and a handful of Ravi's family members, Altman argued that there was no evidence that Ravi was homophobic or anti-gay.  During the testimony of 22 witnesses throughout the trial, no one had said that Ravi openly disparaged his roommate or felt hatred toward him, Altman said.

When he activated the webcam in his room and saw Clementi kissing a man, he reacted with immature surprise, Altman argued.

"Why we're here is because on Sept. 19, and Sept. 21, 2010, an 18-year-old boy, a kid, a college freshman, had an experience, had an encounter that he wasn't ready for, he didn't expect, he was surprised by, and he didn't know how to deal with it because he was a kid.  What you have to decide is whether he did it because he was hateful, biased, or anti-gay, or hated his roommate," Altman said.

Following Altman's summation, the jury will hear the state's closing argument.  The state has contended during the trial that Ravi complained to friends in emails that he was upset to find out that his college roommate was gay, and that he recruited the help of a second student to aim his webcam at Clementi's bed for the Sept. 21 date, and invited friends to watch the encounter.

The state has also argued that Ravi tried to cover up his incriminating digital messages and tampered with a witness.

On Wednesday, Judge Glenn Berman is scheduled to give the jury instructions and let them begin deliberations.  That schedule is now uncertain because of Altman's illness.

Ravi could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charges. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar072012

Rutgers Prosecution Witness: Could He Have Been a Defendant?

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- Rutgers University student Lokesh Ojha has emerged as a key prosecution witnesses in the trial of Dharun Ravi, who's accused of invading the privacy and cyberbullying his college roommate, Tyler Clementi.

But could Ojha have just as easily been a defendant?

Ojha's name came up again Tuesday on the eighth day of the trial in the testimony of two computer experts, who testified that Ravi engaged in video chats on the evening of Sept. 21, 2010.  The next day, Clementi leapt to his death from the George Washington Bridge.

The prosecution is using the computer experts to corroborate Ojha's earlier testimony that he helped Ravi set up a second viewing of Clementi who was planning a second encounter with an older man that night.

Testimony has shown that Ravi and Molly Wei, who is now cooperating with the state, briefly watched Clementi and the 30-year-old man, known only as M.B., kissing in a dorm room two days earlier.

Ravi's alleged attempt for a second viewing is critical in the state's contention that Ravi was motivated by gay bias.

Wei was originally charged with Ravi, but entered into a plea deal that would allow her to avoid jail and a criminal record.  Yet questions remain as to why Ojha also was not charged as a co-conspirator.

"They certainly could have charged him with attempted invasion of privacy," says John Fahy, a former New Jersey prosecutor.  "He discussed the intended webcam incident, and he helped Ravi arrange the camera to carry it out."

With two students in their respective rooms, Ojha testified last Wednesday, he hooked into Ravi's webcam, which showed Clementi's half of their dorm room.

"I remember he [Ravi] was walking around.  He moved his computer an inch... I saw Tyler's bed," Ojha testified.  "I said it was good and he said he couldn't really hear me and I gave him a thumbs up."

In addition, Ojha admitted under cross-examination that he lied to investigators when first contacted by police.

"I wouldn't say it was a lie," Ojha said, then changed his mind, conceding, "Well, yeah."

Pressed by defense lawyer Steven Altman, he was asked, "Were you lying?" to which Ojha answered, "Yes."

When asked why, Ojha, looking shaken and pausing to pour himself water from a pitcher, said he was "scared."  He later added, "I was a freshman and I thought my college career was over because I helped him, I helped him set it up."

The Middlesex County Prosecutors Office, declined comment about why Ojha was not charged, as they have consistently done throughout the case.  Ravi was ultimately charged with both crimes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar022012

Rutgers Trial: Cop Describes Search for Tyler Clementi

ABC News(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- A Rutgers police officer testified Thursday that when he searched for missing student Tyler Clementi, his roommate Dharun Ravi did not mention that Clementi was upset over Ravi's alleged webcam spying and had asked to switch rooms the previous day.

Police officer Krzysztof Kowalczy said he was told to conduct a "well-being" check for Clementi on Sept. 22, 2010 after police found Clementi's possessions on the George Washington Bridge.  Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the bridge earlier that day.

Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman, left a note, but its contents have never been made public.  His death came a day after he complained to school officials that Ravi had used a webcam to spy on him while on a date with another man and had invited others to watch during a second date.

Clementi had requested a room change on Sept. 21 and both students had conversations with Rutgers residence life employees about the incidents.

On Sept. 22, Kowalczy asked Ravi if he had any idea where Clementi was or if he had been acting unusually.  Ravi said he didn't know where his roommate was, but that Clementi had been acting normally earlier in the afternoon.

Ravi told Kowalczy about Clementi's Sept. 19 date with an "older, slightly overweight" male with a "scrubby beard and short black hair," the officer testified, but did not mention that Clementi was upset that Ravi has used his webcam to catch Clementi and the man kissing.  Ravi also didn't mention that Clementi was angry over Ravi's tweet inviting others to watch Clementi's second date on Sept. 21, the officer testified.

Prior to Kowalczy's testimony, three of Ravi's friends were called by the prosecution to testify that Ravi told them about setting up a webcam that could spy on his roommate. 

What is expected to be one of the most dramatic moments in the trial was also delayed again on Thursday as the man who was seen on a webcam kissing Clementi was not called to testify for the second day in a row.

The man, known only as M.B. in court documents, will be called by the prosecution to tell the court what happened during the two dates he had with Clementi in September 2010.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb292012

Rutgers Witness Says Others Were Urged to Spy on Tyler Clementi

ABC News(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- Rutgers students testified Tuesday that Dharun Ravi urged other students to spy on his roommate's gay date, while defense lawyers suggested a key witness agreed to testify against Ravi in exchange for having criminal charges against her dropped.

Ravi is on trial for invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, witness tampering and hindering arrest for allegedly using his webcam to spy on his freshman roommate Tyler Clementi during a date with another man.

Part of the charges against Ravi include that he tweeted about what he saw when he peeked through his webcam and that he allegedly invited others to watch when Clementi was having a second date with the man.  That second viewing, however, never occurred.

The case gained national prominence when Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge several days later and the story became a focal point for anti-bullying activists.

Alissa Agarwal, a Rutgers student who was friends with Ravi, and Molly Wei, who was originally charged along with Ravi, testified for the prosecution and underwent lengthy cross examination by the defense on Tuesday.

A poignant moment in the case came when Wei told the court that after her first interview with police she went home to her parents instead of back to her dorm.

"It was overwhelming because at the end of the statement the police told me that Tyler was missing and may have committed suicide," Wei said.  "I was overcome with emotions.  I felt so bad about what happened and I wanted to be with my parents."

It was the first time Clementi's suicide has been mentioned in the trial other than at the beginning of jury selection when the judge told prospective jurors that Clementi would not be testifying because he is dead, but that the charges were unrelated to the suicide.

Agarwal told the court that she received a tweet from Ravi on Sept. 19 that read, "roommate asked for room for the night. I went to molly's room and turned on my webcam and he was making out with a dude. Yay."

She said she received another tweet from Ravi on Sept. 21, supposedly alerting his friends that Clementi was asking for their shared dorm room again so he could have another date and suggesting they watch by contacting his webcam.

"Anyone with ichat, I dare you to ichat me from the hours of 930 and midnight. Yes, it is happening again," Ravi tweeted.

Agarwal said that on the evening of Sept. 21, Ravi explained to her in the presence of other students that his webcam was set on auto accept "in order for multiple people to be able to view Tyler's side of the room."  He also demonstrated for her by opening up her iChat program and it showed Clementi's side of the dorm room.

"He [Ravi] was just talking about the second tweet, warning us about it," she testified.  "He was encouraging us to abide by his tweet."

Agarwal said that she spent several hours with Ravi later that evening, but he did not peek at his webcam or discuss Clementi with her again.

Earlier in the day, Wei told the court that she and Ravi peeked Clementi for a few seconds, seeing the two men kissing.  But she said Ravi was not alarmed that Clementi had a gay liaison, but worried that the much older man did not appear to be a Rutgers student and might steal his iPad.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb282012

Rutgers Witness 'Overwhelmed' When Told Tyler Clementi Feared Dead

ABC News(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- Rutgers University student Molly Wei, who spied on fellow student Tyler Clementi as he kissed another man, told a New Jersey court on Tuesday that she was "overcome with emotion" when police told her Clementi may have committed suicide.

Wei is a key witness in the trial of Dahrun Ravi, another Rutgers student who is on trial for invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, witness tampering and hindering arrest.

The case gained national prominence when Clementi, a freshman, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge several days later and the story became a focal point for anti-bullying activists.

Ravi was Clementi's roommate and the prosecution claims he set up his webcam to be able to watch the gay date on Sept. 19, 2010. He and Wei peeked briefly at the couple from Wei's computer in a dorm room across the hall.

Wei has testified that Ravi was concerned that Clementi's date would steal his iPad.

Wei was initially arrested and charged with invasion of privacy, but those charges have been dropped in exchange for Wei's testimony at the trial and doing 300 hours of community service.

During cross examination on Tuesday, Wei recounted how she gave a statement to police about what happened.  When the questioning was over, an emotional Wei said she went home to her parents instead of returning to her dorm.

"It was overwhelming because at the end of the statement the police told me that Tyler was missing and may have committed suicide," Wei told the court.  "I was overcome with emotions.  I felt so bad about what happened and I wanted to be with my parents."

It was the first time Clementi's suicide has been mentioned in the trial other than at the beginning of jury selection when the judge told prospective jurors that Clementi would not be testifying because he is dead, but that the charges were unrelated to the suicide.

Wei also told the court that on Sept. 27, she contacted police because she wanted to give them more information.  She told them about a conversation she had with several friends at lunch and was surprised when her friends -- who were not in the room when she and Ravi spied on Clementi -- brought up the incident.

"One said it was so stupid what Dahrun did... And they told me about the twitter, tweets they received about a viewing party," Wei testified.

Wei said she had not been aware that Ravi had tweeted about what they saw on his webcam.  The prosecution claims that Ravi tweeted about Clementi's date on Sept. 19 and tweeted again two days later that Clementi was having another date.  There is no indication, however, that he spied on Clementi on Sept. 21.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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