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The man seen in a webcam liaison with a Rutgers University student testified Friday in the trial of the student's roommate, who is accused of spying on the two men during intimate moments. New Jersey reporter Brian Thompson reports.
The man seen in a webcam liaison with a Rutgers University student testified Friday in the trial of the student's roommate, who is accused of spying on the two men during intimate moments.
The 32-year-old mystery man has been identified only by the initials M.B. Courtroom cameras avoided his face and showed only his hands as he testified for most of the day.
Dharun Ravi is charged with bias intimidation, invasion of privacy and other crimes. His 18-year-old roommate, Tyler Clementi, killed himself in September 2010, days after prosecutors say Ravi briefly watched webcam footage of an encounter with M.B.
M.B. said Friday that he and Clementi met in August on a social networking site and exchanged emails and instant messages. They ended up having three sexual encounters in Clementi's dorm room in September, he said.
He testified that he noticed a webcam pointed at the bed during one of the first visits, and "thought it was kind of strange."
During cross examination by the defense in the afternoon, he said he didn't think anyone was watching through the camera, but just thought it odd that the lens was pointing toward the bed. He said he did not see a light indicating the camera was on.
M.B. said he saw about five students looking at him in the dorm commons area as he left Clementi's room after one visit.
"They were looking at me ... it was kind of unsettling," he said.
On his final visit to Clementi's room, M.B. did not see the webcam on top of the computer anymore, he said Friday. He also said he did not see people outside the room, looking at him, as he left that night.
The mystery man's testimony has been highly anticipated during the trial.
His lawyer, Richard Pompelio, said after a morning of testimony that M.B. wanted his name withheld because he wished to maintain his privacy as a crime victim.
The trial wrapped for the day before 4 p.m. and was expected to resume on Monday.
Earlier this week, jurors heard testimony from a Rutgers police officer, a university administrator and college students who testified that they heard about or watched the webcam video.
Ravi faces 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, a hate crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.