A US court on Friday refused to dismiss criminal charges against Indian-American Dharun Ravi, a former Rutgers University student, accused of secretly filming and posting online a sexual encounter between his male roommate and another man.
Ravi, 19, stands accused of using a webcam to
stream coverage of his Rutgers roommate Tyler Clementi with another man last September.
Clementi, 18, committed suicide last fall following the incident. If convicted of the most serious bias charge, Ravi could face five to 10 years in prison.
"I'm finding there is testimony to support these charges," Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman was quoted as saying by local media reports.
The judge also ruled that evidence about Clementi's September 22 suicide, specifically the full name and birthdate of "MB," the man with whom Clementi had his intimate encounter – be given to the defence, saying it is relevant to the criminal charges against Ravi.
Ravi is charged with 15 offences, including bias and intimidation.
Ravi's defence attorney, Steven Altman, requested access to evidence about the suicide, but the prosecution said Ravi was not charged with actually causing Clementi's suicide, so the information was deemed irrelevant.
"I recognise "MB" has limited knowledge about this case," the judge said. "I'm balancing his right to privacy with Ravi's right to defend himself."