Evidence pertaining to Tyler Clementi”s suicide and possible depression is not relevant to the webcam spying case against Dharun Ravi and should not be turned over to Ravi”s defense attorney, Middlesex County Judge Glenn Berman ruled Thursday.
“Everything will remain sealed,” Judge Berman said. “Nothing in those sealed files, from what I could tell, is in any way relevant to the prosecutorial charges. Virtually everything in there is personal (and) private.”
The judge also denied motions filed by the prosecution and an attorney for M.B., the man Clementi was with in his Rutgers University dorm room when Ravi, now 19, allegedly spied on them with his webcam.
In September it was ruled that the prosecution had to reveal M.B.”s name and date of birth to Ravi”s defense attorney, but an attorney for M.B. filed a motion asking the judge to change his mind, saying his client has “substantial fear” that his privacy will be invaded.
“The order stands,” Judge Berman said, implying that the man will be identified. “I”m not insensitive to anyone”s privacy at all but I have to balance M.B.”s right to privacy against Mr. Ravi”s right to a defense.”
The judge also set a trial date of Feb. 21 for Ravi.
Steven Altman, Ravi”s defense attorney, declined to comment after the hearing.
Molly Wei, the other defendant in the case, agreed last May to testify against Ravi in exchange for being accepted into a program for first-time offenders.
Wei, 19, has to perform 300 hours of community service, undergo counseling and work fulltime (or part-time if she is in school). If she successfully meets those conditions, the two invasion-of-privacy charges against her will be dismissed after three years.