Dharun Ravi seeks webcam spy case dismissal

May 2nd, 2012 - 12:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, May 2 (IANS) Lawyers for an Indian American student found guilty of bias crimes for spying with a webcam on his roommate having an intimate encounter with another man have sought dismissal of his conviction and a new trial.

In 32-page motion filed Tuesday before a New Jersey state Superior Court, lawyers for Dharun Ravi, 20, a former Rutgers state university student, asked that the invasion of privacy counts should be overturned.

Among the reasons were that the state failed to show Ravi knew he wasn’t permitted to view his webcam when he did - a key element of the count, attorneys Steven Altman and Philip Nettl argued.

“On the contrary, all reasonable inferences suggest that he thought he was entitled to view his own room,” the lawyers wrote.

They also said prosecutors had not proven Ravi attempted to view his own webcam on Sep 21.

Altman and Nettl challenged the bias intimidation convictions - where the jury concluded in some cases that Ravi had purposely and knowingly intimidated his roommate Tyler Clementi, while in others that Clementi believed he was being targeted because he was gay.

Specifically, the attorneys said there was no evidence shown that Ravi’s actions were intended to threaten Clementi. They also said Ravi was not biased toward Clementi because of his sexual orientation and that Clementi had not feared Ravi.

If the request is denied and Ravi is sentenced to prison, his lawyers are seeking bail for Ravi as he appeals the verdict.

Ravi is expected to be sentenced May 21 after being found guilty of each of the 15 counts levelled against him, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation - a hate crime.

He faces up to 10 years in prison and could also be deported to his native India based on the conviction.

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