Witness: Web cam seen aimed at bed in cyberbullying case

CNN Wire Service

NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (CNN) — The man with whom Tyler Clementi had an intimate encounter just days before his suicide took the stand Friday, telling jurors that he had noticed a web camera aimed at Clementi’s bed.

The witness, who prosecutors have named only as “M.B.” to protect his identity, offered his account of the encounter during the sixth day the trial of a former Rutgers University student, Dharun Ravi, who is accused of spying on Clementi.

M.B. testified that he first met Clementi on an internet social networking site. The two were eventually were together in Clementi’s dorm room when M.B. glanced over and saw “a camera lens aimed at the bed.”

Just days after the 2010 incident, Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey and Manhattan across the Hudson River.

Prosecutors have said that Ravi and another student placed the camera in the room without Clementi’s knowledge to allegedly spy on his intimate encounter with the other man. During the evening of September 21, 2010, Ravi allegedly told fellow student Geoffrey Irving after an ultimate frisbee practice that he had set up the web cam and was planning to do it again that night, Irving testified Thursday.

Ravi, 20, now faces a 15-count indictment in Clementi’s death that includes charges of bias intimidation, invasion of privacy, tampering with physical evidence, witness tampering and hindering apprehension or prosecution. His trial began Friday.

If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

Last year, he turned down a plea deal that would have allowed him to avoid jail time.

Less than a month after Clementi’s suicide, President Obama released a videotaped message condemning bullying.

In November, Clementi’s family consented to the use of his name on federal anti-harassment legislation called the “Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act.”

The proposed law would require schools that receive federal student aid “to create policies prohibiting the harassment of any student,” said Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey.