Dharun Ravi shares a laugh with his attorneys during a break in his trial at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick, N.J. on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. Ravi,a former Rutgers University student, is accused of using a webcam to spy on his roommate, Tyler Clementi, intimate encounter with another man. Days later Clementi committed suicide. Ravi, 19, faces 15 criminal charges, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, a hate crime punishable by up to 10 years in state prison. (AP Photo/The Star-Ledger, John O'Boyle, Pool)
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — A family friend says a former Rutgers University student accused of using a webcam to spy on his roommate's intimate encounter with another man never expressed anti-gay views to him.
Sandeep Sharma was called Friday as the first defense witness in the trial of Dharun Ravi (dah-ROON' RAH'vee) after 10 days of testimony from prosecution witnesses.
Ravi is charged with 15 criminal counts including bias intimidation and invasion of privacy. His roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide days after the alleged spying in September 2010.
Sharma is president of R-Squared, the information technology company where Ravi's father is chairman.
On cross-examination, Assistant Middlesex County Prosecutor Julia McClure questioned him on how well he knew Ravi.