Opening arguments due in NJ webcam spying trial

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by By GEOFF MULVIHILL

Associated Press

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 2:35 AM

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) -- Opening arguments are scheduled for Friday in the trial of a former Rutgers University student accused of using a webcam to spy on his roommate's intimate encounter with another man.

Nineteen-year-old Dharun Ravi (DAHR'-uhn RAH'-vee) faces 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation.

The case sparked a national conversation about treatment of young gays after his roommate, Tyler Clementi, killed himself in September 2010.

If he's convicted of the most serious counts, Ravi could face 10 years in state prison. He turned down a plea bargain offer from prosecutors that would have called for no prison time. His lawyer said it's because he's not guilty of any crimes.

The trial is expected to last three to four weeks.

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