Today, the trial of the former Rutgers college student accused of spying on his gay roommate's intimate encounter via a webcam began in New Brunswick. A prosecutor said of Dharun Ravi, "These acts were purposeful, they were intentional and they were planned. They were mean-spirited, they were malicious, and they were criminal," but his lawyer said, "He's an 18-year-old boy... You gotta put that in perspective... I can't stand here and tell you Dharun didn't act like a boy... We all do stupid things in our lives and we all make mistakes. It doesn't mean we're hateful and we're bigoted or we're a criminal. Dharun never intimidated anyone."

Dharun Ravi and Tyler Clementi were freshman year roommates in fall of 2010. Clementi found out that Ravi had been streaming his private moments in their room—Ravi was in a friend's room—and later jumped off the George Washington Bridge. Clementi's death galvanized LGBT activists and raised questions about bullying.

Ravi, now 19, faces charges including "invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, a hate crime punishable by up to 10 years in state prison." Charges against his friend, Molly Wei, who watched Clementi and his unnamed companion from her room with Ravi, were dropped and she will testify for the prosecution. A jury of fifteen people—eight women, seven men (one man was dismissed before the trial this morning for unknown reasons)—will hear the case and then jurors deciding the case will be randomly selected.

Assistant Prosecutor Julia McClure said the webcam spying "was like opening the blinds of the window of that room. He left the blinds open and he opened and encouraged other people to look through those blinds." She added, "These counts of invasion of privacy on [September] 19th and the attempted count of invasion of privacy on the 21st were motivated by the fact that Tyler and his guest, who was a male, were homosexual." But Ravi's lawyer Steve Altman said that Ravi is "not a homophobic, not anti-gay. He never harassed his roommate. There was no bullying."

The New Yorker had a long feature that described Clementi's and Ravi's apparent relationship as roommates and the events surrounding the various broadcasts of Clementi's dates: Clementi said online before the final instance where his private encounter was filmed, "I feel like the only thing the school might do is find me another roommate, probably with me moving out ... and i’d probably just end up with somebody worse than him... I mean aside from being an asshole from time to time, he’s a pretty decent roommate."