The New Jersey trial of a former Rutgers student accused of using a webcam to spy on his roommate’s intimate encounter with another man might turn not just on what he did but also on why he did it.
Opening arguments could begin Friday in the trial of 19-year-old Dharun Ravi.
The case touched off a national conversation about how young gays are treated after Ravi’s roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide in September 2010.
Ravi faces 15 criminal charges, including invasion of privacy and tampering with both evidence and a witness. The most serious charge is bias intimidation, a hate crime.
To convict him of that, prosecutors will have to convince jurors that Ravi acted out of bias against gays.
Ravi’s attorney has said his client is innocent.