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Indian American student to go on trial for spying on roommate

Friday February 24, 2012 10:50:56 AM, IANS

New York: The trial of Dharun Ravi, a 19-year-old former Indian American student charged with spying on his roommate, is set to begin Friday with the selection of a 16-member jury.

The jury is made up of eight men and eight women. Four alternates will be chosen before they start deliberating. Opening statements in the trial will begin Friday morning.

Each juror has answered a series of questions from New Jersey Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman, including how much they knew about Ravi's case before being called for jury duty, and if heavy media coverage would sway them.

Ravi is charged with 15 counts of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, and hindering apprehension.

Prosecutors say he spied on his former roommate, Tyler Clementi, at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey by watching Clementi in an intimate moment with another man in their dorm room from a webcam in a friend's room.

Ravi also allegedly announced the incident on Twitter and attempted to watch a second time.

A few days after the spying allegedly occurred, Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. Ravi is not charged in connection with Clementi's death.

If convicted on the most serious charges of bias intimidation, Ravi would face up to 10 years in prison. Prosecutors would have to prove that Ravi targeted Clementi because he was gay.

Ravi sat quietly through jury selection. His parents sat in the second row of the courtroom behind the defence table.









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