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Rutgers spy cam case: Dharun Ravi defense rests

Dharun Ravi faces 15 charges, but the most serious is 'bias intimidation.' Prosecutors in the Rutgers spy cam case must convince the jury that Dahrun Ravi acted out of hatred against gays. He faces up to 10 years of prison if convicted.

By Geoff MulvihillAssociated Press / March 12, 2012

Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student during before court proceedings in New Brunswick, N.J.

(AP Photo/The Star-Ledger, John Munson, Pool, file)

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New Brunswick, New Jersey

Jurors will not hear directly from the defendant in the trial of the former Rutgers University student accused of using a webcam to spy on his roommate's intimate encounter with another man.

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Indian-born Dharun Ravi's defense lawyer rested his case Monday without calling Ravi to testify.

The jury could begin deliberating on Tuesday after lawyers give their summations.

The trial captured in detail the actions of Ravi and his randomly-assigned freshman roommate, Tyler Clementi, over a few days in September 2010, beginning when Clementi asked for privacy so he could have a guest over and continuing past when he committed suicide by jumping off the that links New York City with New Jersey.

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The suicide made Clementi a national symbol of the difficulties young gays can face.

Ravi is not charged with his death. He faces 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation. Seven of the charges are related to allegations that he tried to cover his tracks by changing a Twitter messages, deleting text messages and telling another witness what she should say.

Testimony stretched over 12 days and included about 30 witnesses, including several college students, along with school officials and investigators. Jurors also heard from the other man in the streamed video; he was identified only by the initials M.B.

Without a chance to hear testimony from Ravi, who told Judge Glenn Berman that it was his own decision not to testify, jurors may give more consideration to the one instance they did get to hear his voice. It came in a video of an interview he gave police on Sept. 23, 2010.

Ravi looked composed for an 18-year-old wearing shorts, a T-shirt and flip-flops when he was brought into a police station.

Word had spread that Ravi used his webcam to view Clementi in a private moment with another man, just days before Clementi committed suicide.

As he was questioned, Ravi looked directly at the investigator who grilled him and accused him repeatedly of lying. He talked quickly but his voice didn't trail off.

Throughout the trial, Ravi sat about 20 feet (six meters) from jurors wearing a suit, his formerly unkempt hair trimmed neatly. Sometimes, he fiddled with his tie. Sometimes he cracked a smile. Sometimes, he whispered to his lawyers.

Between his recorded words and those of others, a portrait of him has been painted for jurors.

Ravi came to New Jersey with his family as a young child. He and his family live in the upscale central New Jersey community of Plainsboro.

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