Showing posts with label Trial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trial. Show all posts

August 24, 2018

One Juror Hold Out Saved Manafort From All Counts Yet A Trumpie Voted for Conviction

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team was one holdout juror away from winning a conviction against Paul Manafort on all 18 counts of bank and tax fraud, juror Paula Duncan told Fox News in an exclusive interview Wednesday.

“We all tried to convince her,” a Trump-supporting juror told Fox News.

In the end, it was one juror who saved Paul Manafort from being convicted on all 18 countshe faced, instead of just the eight counts related to his finances that he ended up with. 
Paula Duncan, a jury member and self-described Trump supporter, told Fox News Wednesday night that it was just one juror who held out on 10 of the counts. 
Duncan voted guilty on all 18 counts, saying that she considered the evidence against Manafort “overwhelming.” Duncan isn’t just a Republican who voted for her party’s nominee — she kept her pro-Trump gear in her car while driving to the trial every day and described special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt to try to find Russian collusion.”
Duncan is the first juror of the 12-member panel to speak out publicly. Judge T.S. Ellis III kept the jurors’ names under seal to protect their safety, citing threats he had received during the high-profile trial. But Duncan said she didn’t feel threatened. 
“I’m an American. I’m a citizen. I feel I did my civic duty. I don’t think I need to hide behind anything. I am not afraid at all,” she said. 
She also said she thought it was the public’s right to know what happened. “America needed to know how close this was,” she explained. “And that the evidence was overwhelming. I did not want Paul Manafort to be guilty, but he was. No one is above the law.”  
Duncan was clear that 11 of the 12 jury members believed Manafort was guilty on all 18 countsof subscribing to false income tax returns, failing to report his foreign accounts, and bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy. She didn’t share many details about the holdout juror, other than that she is a woman. The juror refused to budge on 10 of those counts, forcing a mistrial on those charges and a partial conviction on the other eight.  
“We all tried to convince her to look at the paper trail,” Duncan said. “We laid it out in front of her again and again, and she still said that she had a reasonable doubt. That’s the way the jury worked. We didn’t want to be hung, so we tried for an extended period of time to convince her.”
“But in the end,” Duncan said, “she held out, and that’s why we have 10 counts they did not get a verdict.”
Duncan described the deliberations as both heated and emotional at times — “there were even tears.” And while Trump’s name came up, the jury tried to keep politics out of it. “I think we all went in there like we were supposed to and assumed that Mr. Manafort was innocent,” Duncan said. “We did due diligence. We apply the evidence, our notes, the witnesses, and we came up with the guilty verdict on the eight counts.”

A juror’s perspective reveals the deep splits about the Mueller investigation

Duncan’s interview with Fox News revealed the inner workings of a jury panel that spent almost four full days deliberating — punctuated by a few notes to the judge and one juror’s desire to get an early start on the weekend.
Duncan expressed serious discomfort with the Mueller investigation and even suggested that Manafort probably wouldn’t have been charged unless the special counsel wasn’t after Trump. “I think they used Manafort to try to get the dirt on Trump — or hoping he would flip on Trump,” she said.  Duncan was critical of the Mueller team, saying she thought the prosecution seemed bored and were catnapping through the trial. She also said they tried to waste time with the “shenanigans” of Russian collusion at the start of the trial, until Judge Ellis intervened. (She also was somewhat critical of the defense, including Manafort’s decision not to testify.)
Yet she and her fellow jurors were persuaded by the evidence — what she called the “paper trail.” Her discomfort with the Russia investigation didn’t prevent her, and possibly others with similar feelings, from examining the facts. 
This seems to be both good and bad news for the future of the Mueller investigation — and for President Donald Trump. Trump’s “RIGGED WITCH HUNT”/“Russia hoax”/“NO COLLUSION” campaign is definitely resonating among his supporters. But in Mueller’s first trial, that didn’t prevent at least a partial conviction in a case with strong evidence.


July 11, 2015

GOP Bank Exec Blackmailed Trial [by Gay Porn Actor ends with Verdict]

 Republican Contributor Teofil bank Donald Burns
 and Porn Actor Jarec Wentworth

Teofil Brank, the gay porn actor who performs under the name Jarec Wentworth, has been found guilty of extorting Palm Beach tycoon, MagicJack executive, and Republican political activist Donald Burns of $1.5 million.

Brank, 25, had threatened to expose Burns over their relationship unless the millionaire forked over money and an Audi R8 earlier this year. Burns had also reportedly paid Brank to introduce him to other Sean Cody models and performers. Following an FBI sting in March, Brank was arrested. Rumors over Burns being Brank's victim were confirmed during the trial. 
On Thursday, a Los Angeles jury found Brank guilty on six felony counts. 
Jurors  (according to Courthouse News) were told of Burns trying to set up a gay porn film shoot at his estate in California. There were also details given of sex parties in California and Florida, and of Burns' other relationships with gay models and porn actors.
Another twist in the sordid tale was one gay porn actor named Justin Griggs testifying that he had been flown to Burns' home in Palm Beach and paid to have sex and taking part in group sex. During testimony, Griggs admitted he was reluctant to speak with investigators because of his relationship with a "powerful individual." That individual, Griggs said, was Geffen Records founder and co-founder of Dreamworks SKG, David Geffen. 
Earlier this year, Geffen's 21-year-old ex-boyfriend was charged with stalking the record company mogul.
"It was really just hanging out, surfing, grilling out, going to dinner, and then we would have sex, group sex," Griggs said of Burns' parties in Palm Beach.
Also during the trial, Burns, who is a prominent GOP donor and political activist, admitted to paying Brank and other gay porn stars for sex, as well as paying what he called "referral fees" of up to $2,000 for introductions to other actors and models for sex. 
Burns has donated to Republican candidates such as Jeb Bush and  Mitt Romney. Though he's also known for donating to Barack Obama, John Edwards and Ralph Nader. Burns also donated $400,000, to Florida Red and Blue, a group fighting a gay marriage ban in Florida in 2008.
Brank is now facing up to 53 years in prison. His sentencing is expected to come sometime in September, according to the Smoking Gun.                                    
a WAO!! story

May 12, 2015

Why is this Juror Smiling?

2015_05_sirois2.jpgAdam Sirois, at a press conference after the mistrial was called (AP)
This is the man that kept that jury locked up and the only hold out on Etan’s Patz murder trial. Thanks to him  this was a mistrial and now New York City either goes for a mistrial or let the man that confessed to how he murdered Ethan in the basement of his building. Even if this psycho  was innocent there would be no reason for this juror to be smiling.  He wanted those 15 minutes of fame so badly he just felt good. 
Now the city has to go through an expensive, more difficult re trial or let this man loose. Many refer to this case as the OJ murder retrial. Again no reason for the guy to be smiling! People that know NYC Police know that they pushed this man too much like if in todays info-technical society no body was going to find out. These interrogators were so much knuckle heads that they never thought that if anything they should have treated this accused with kid gloves. In such a public trial like this one everything was going to be highlighted by the man’s lawyers but their stupidity prevented them from  realizing that. Instead they treated Hernandes like they would any defendant, ’badly’.
One would think that the interrogators and their supervisors’ would pay some price? No chance, thats why it gets done.
When the treatment that Hernandes got was read to the jury it gave this juror with a lack of common sense but with a little hair inside his butt for fame an excuse to figure out the man did it but with a little doubt down where I told you, he had to hold out.  Now the city afraid of its own cops has to go for a second trial.                ( Adam)

 Etan Patz parents 1979

The following appeared along with the picture of the famous juror enjoying his new found fame at
The juror whose belief that Pedro Hernandez did not kill six-year-old Etan Patz—resulting in a mistrial for the murder trial—is now speaking out. Adam Sirois, a health care consultant, told WABC 7 that the jury started out as eight for a guilty verdict, four for not guilty, "it moved to approximately 6-6 - there were some unsure votes in there. 9-3, 10-2 and then 11-1, so there was a progress that went along. It was hard to know that I was the last one on the 'not guilty' side, but I couldn't vote the other way."
The murder trial was supposed to be a coda on the 1979 disappearance of Etan, who was last seen heading to his school bus stop in Soho by himself. However, his body was never found and no charges were ever brought against any suspect. The most compelling person of interest was Jose Ramos, a drifter who dated Etan's babysitter who later was convicted of molesting little boys. Ramos told investigators he was 90% sure he had taken Etan and was eventually found guilty of Etan's death in a 2004 civil case.
The NYPD reopened the case of Etan's disappearance in 2012—finding no new evidence—but arrested Hernandez, who had been a bodega worker in the neighborhood in 1979—Etan had apparently headed to the bodega first to get a soda—and who had "confessed" about strangling a boy to relatives and his church group. Detectives who interrogated him for hours without a lawyer, obtained a confession, which Hernandez’s defense claimed was extremely questionable because of his mental health issues, which include shizophrenia.

May 8, 2014

First Uganda Gay Sex Law Trial

Two men accused of having homosexual sex appeared before a Ugandan court today, the first to face trial since the adoption of tough anti-gay laws, their lawyer said. Kim Mukisa and Jackson Mukasa, who appeared in the court in the capital Kampala, are both expected to plead not guilty. Previous cases have been dropped because of a lack of… 
Malaysia Insider
Two men accused of having homosexual sex appeared before a Ugandan court today, the first to face trial since the adoption of tough anti-gay laws, their lawyer said.
Kim Mukisa and Jackson Mukasa, who appeared in the court in the capital Kampala, are both expected to plead not guilty.
Previous cases have been dropped because of a lack of evidence, but defence lawyer Fridah Mutesi said the prosecution says it has witnesses and wants to proceed.
President Yoweri Museveni in February signed a bill that calls for "repeat homosexuals" to be jailed for life, outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and obliges people to denounce gays to the authorities.
The law drew international condemnation, with US Secretary of State John Kerry likening it to anti-Semitic legislation in Nazi Germany.
However, the two men were arrested in January under the old laws.
Lawyers say both are expected to be later released on bail, with a date for trial to be set later.
Critics have said Museveni signed the law to win domestic support ahead of a presidential election scheduled for 2016, which will be his 30th year in power. 

November 10, 2013

Trial of A Rent Boy Who Bled a 62 Yr Old Financially and Blood Wise

Ricardo PisanoRicardo Pisano denies murder and causing grievous bodily harm

Trials are not cool and I hate covering them. The reason for this is that is there is so much repetition and posturing from everyone involved that I would rather read about in the paper or the books that sometimes follows without all the bs.

As for justice that is just a throw of the dice. Our system of justice was not set up to punish all the guilty but instead is a filter that catches some and let go some for the sake of the water to get through.

The better you are at lying and the less witness’ you have against you the chances are you will be set loose. On the other hand if you are too honest and say what you mean and then speak it, chances are you will be hung on your own words.

This particular trial I am interest it in. It involves amazing cruelty to someone gay.  It involves

a self-confessed rent boy who bled a 62-year-old man dry financially and then murdered him before leaving him to “rot", a court has heard.
The body of Michael Polding was found by police in his Brighton flat on 16 July last 
year, nearly two months after his death.
He died from "blunt force trauma" to his chest, Lewes Crown Court was told.
Ricardo Pisano, 36, formerly of Methuen Street, Southampton, denies murder and causing grievous bodily harm.
Mr Pisano, who lived with Mr Polding, has admitted a charge of preventing the lawful and decent burial of a body.
Prosecutor Philip Katz QC told the jury that Mr Pisano had advertised himself in a gay magazine as a "rent boy" and met Mr Polding in December 2009.
He moved in with him at his home in Croydon, south London, and later followed him to Brighton.
"The prosecution say that really from the word go this defendant lived off Michael Polding financially," he said, adding that Mr Pisano had no job and no income.
"The Crown's case is that this defendant and other friends of his effectively bled Mr Polding dry financially and this defendant, while in this period, pretended to act as his carer and even godson.
"In fact, we say he abused and assaulted Mr Polding, resulting in a serious assault," he said.
"We say that he eventually killed him, and, having killed him, left him to rot."
After his arrest, Mr Pisano claimed in a police interview that he came home to their St George's Road flat to find Mr Polding had committed suicide by hanging himself from a banister.
"He said he tried and failed to revive Mr Polding and had then panicked," Mr Katz said.
"He said there were people in South Africa who wanted to kill him and his family and that was why he had been unable to tell anyone about the death of Mr Polding, and that was why he had to flee the scene and not tell anyone what happened."
The court heard that in late 2011 and early 2012, Mr Pisano and friends Emmett Friel and Hannington Obote started up a hair salon in north London under the name Fate.
"This money was effectively Mr Polding's and that was being frittered away," Mr Katz said.
After selling his Croydon flat, Mr Polding asked one of his sisters to take control of a "nest-egg" for him using part of the proceeds from the sale.
Mr Katz said that a couple of weeks before he died, Mr Polding asked his sister to transfer £500.
Later that day, he phoned her again asking for another £100.
Mr Katz said that in the background, Mr Pisano could be heard asking her to send £1,500.
She transferred the money and never heard from her brother again, the court heard.
The trial continues.

Adam Gonzalez
Sourcing and top picture by BBC

February 26, 2013

HUngry Cannibal Cop Cries at Trial Being Served Horse Meat

 Court sketch of Gilberto Valle during his trial, while his wife, Kathleen Mangan-Valle, testifies against him in New York on 25 February 2013 

 I don’t know what kind of meat he was being served but the point is that when

you read the transcript of the trial you would want to cry. A Family man
with a good job and family, got into his mind that he wanted to eat women.
Not Men. Women starting with his wife. And because everything is on
the net he found other with the same desire! His wife testified he had
hundreds of naked pictures in boxes, some even decomposed. This is
a case in which at least a few nobels should be written.
The estranged wife of a New York City policeman has told a court about her discovery of his alleged plot to kill her and cannibalise women.
Kathleen Mangan-Valle said she found emails detailing husband Gilberto Valle's plans to slit her throat, and kidnap and kill her friend.
Mr Valle, 28, is charged with conspiracy to kidnap, and using police databases to make a list of targets.
But defence lawyers told the court it was merely a role-playing fantasy.
Ms Mangan-Valle, 27, testified as the trial opened on Monday that her husband used to live a normal life until "weird stuff started happening".
Internet searches
She said he began to ask where she liked to jog and whether the route was well-lit or busy.
 Eventually she used spyware to discover the evidence on his computer.
Ms Mangan-Valle told the court: "I was going to be tied up by my feet and my throat slit and they were going to watch the blood drain out of me."
She said his other plans included putting her friend in a suitcase and taking her somewhere to be murdered.
Mr Valle discussed how two other women would be "raped in front of each other to heighten their fears", and another would be roasted alive over a fire, said Ms Mangan-Valle.
"The suffering was for his enjoyment and he wanted to make it last as long as possible," she added.
The prosecution said the plans had come to light after Ms Mangan-Valle moved out of the marital home and reported her husband to the FBI.
They found a "heinous plot to kidnap, rape, murder and cannibalise a number of very real women", assistant US attorney Randall Jackson told the court.
He added that Mr Valle had tried to contact possible victims, including a primary school teacher.
The defendant had also allegedly used the internet to search for the best rope for tying people up, human flesh, white slavery and chemicals to render someone unconscious.
But in her opening statement, defence lawyer Julia Gatto said: "The charges are pure fiction."
"You can't convict people for their thoughts, even if they're sick," she added.
Both the witness and accused wept when a defence lawyer showed the court a picture of Mr Valle in his police uniform, feeding their newborn daughter.
The defendant is expected to take the stand during the trial.
If convicted, he faces a possible life sentence.

October 6, 2012

Trial of Boy Toy and the Cork-Screrw Castration Killing of His Sugar Daddy


Meet the boy toy from hell.

Opening statements were made in Manhattan this morning in a young stud-on-sugar daddy mutilation murder so brutal jurors were screened for their ability to handle graphic autopsy photos and testimony.
Renato Seabra, 22, a Portuguese underwear model, is on trial for bludgeoning, strangling and then castrating his older, wealthy lover, a well-known Portuguese fashion writer, as they argued on vacation in their Times Square hotel room in January 2011.
Carlos Castro, 65, was still alive, though likely unconscious, as his testicles were removed with a cork screw, according to the evidence to come in the next three weeks of testimony. Defense lawyers are hoping to prove that Seabra was not guilty by reason of insanity.

Steven Hirsch
Renato Seabra
"He was choked," lead prosecutor Maxine Rosenthal told the eight-woman, four-man jury this morning.
"He was bashed over the head [with a computer] and his head was stomped on," she said -- making special note that Seabra's sneaker-prints were found on the victim's face.
Rosenthal blamed the murder on rage -- the younger man's fury that three months into the relationship, he was getting kicked off the gravy train.
The older man who'd lavished money on him -- escorting him to dinners, shows and modeling agencies in London, Madrid, and now New York -- was casting him aside, possibly because Seabra had begun cruelly flaunting a new interest in young women.
"Tension was in the air," Rosenthal said, describing Castro's anguished complaint to his dear friend, Wanda Perez, in the hotel lobby the night before the murder.
"Where's Renato?" Perez had asked her doomed friend as they prepared to go to dinner at Paulino's in the Lower East Side.
"I don't know. He left," Castro answered. "I saw him talking to two girls, and he gave them his number. I think he went to meet them."
Defense lawyer Ruben Sinins addressed the jurors next, insisting that Seabra simply snapped that night, suffering a first-ever psychotic break, as evidenced by his actions that night and his later interactions with cops and shrinks.
"The evidence will show that during the incident, Renato Seabra took a cork screw and hacked at Carlos Castro, at his testicles -- that he dug them out, that he pulled them out, with a corkscrew," Sinins told jurors.
"The evidence will further show that as he explained to the police, the very next day, he believed Mr. Castro's testicles were demons, and that by pulling them out everything would be right with the world.
Seabra then slit his own wrists there in the hotel room, the lawyer said -- and the craziness got even crazier.
"He took the testicles and put one on each wrist," Sinins said. "This is what the evidence will show -- and you didn't hear about this from the people's opening.
"He explained that this was for his protection, and he could also harness the power -- harness the power! -- of Carlos Castro's testicles," the lawyer said, his voice rising dramatically.
"Ladies and gentlemen," he said. "This is insanity."
Don't buy it, the prosecutor warned jurors.
"This defendant had no mental illness prior to committing this crime," she told them. "Not a single sign of mental illness in the years, months or days leading up to this crime."
"He knew that he was beating and choking and mutilating Carlos Castro," she said. " And he knew that it was wrong.”

September 4, 2012

Gay Soldier Bradley Manning Asks 7 Yrs Off for Torture

The civilian lawyer of Bradley Manning, the US soldier suspected of transferring hundreds of thousands of state secrets to WikiLeaks, is demanding that at least seven years be lopped off any sentence he might be given on grounds that he was improperly treated while in military custody.
The legal pleading by David Coombs, Manning's chief lawyer, was disclosed in a new motion to the military court that is hearing the soldier's court martial that he posted on his blog on Monday . The motion discloses in heavily redacted form some of the information the defence has gleaned in recent weeks about the way the soldier was treated while he was held for almost 10 months in solitary confinement at the military brig in Quantico marine base in Virginia in 2010/11.
Coombs argues that a stash of about 700 emails that have been disclosed to the defence reveal that military commanders in the brig completely ignored the professional advice of psychiatrists and other medical experts who had examined Manning and found him at no risk to himself and others. Instead, the commanders pressed ahead with harsh conditions that some critics, including the UN, define as torture.
On the back of the new information, Coombs has refined his demand to the military court in a reflection perhaps of his growing confidence in the evidence that he has amassed. He has repeated his call that in the light of Manning's alleged mistreatment at Quantico all 22 charges against him should be dropped, but he now adds that at very least the soldier should have 10 days lopped off any sentence for each of the 265 days he was held in harsh conditions at Quantico. That amounts to just over seven years.
Manning was placed on a prevention of injury order, or POI, in virtual solitary confinement when he was held at Quantico from July 2010. In his new posting, Coombs reveals that military commanders placed the inmate on this rigid regime – that included stripping him of his clothes at night - after they read a New York Times article about him that made them worry he was a suicide risk.
Coombs argues in the motion that Manning's military captors were more concerned about the possible media firestorm that might ensue should the soldier attempt to kill himself than they were about treating him properly. In one email disclosed to the defence, a military chief, whose name has been redacted, expressed anxiety about "the political impact, media interest, legal ramifications, and senior leadership reactions" that would follow any mishap.

Ed Pilkenton
The GuardianUK

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May 20, 2012

Ravi to be Sentenced within 24 Hrs. Tyler’s Loss is Remembered

One couple lost their teenage son to suicide in the days after his college roommate used a webcam to see him kiss another man in September 2010; the other fears their son will be sent to prison this week for doing the spying.ail time plus probation on the more serious charges today. He faced 30 days in jail. The judge said this sentenced will make both sides unhappy.   [UPDATE]
On evidence tampering-hindering and witness tampering, lying to the police,violation of privacy-30 days concurrent to the previous 30 days(served together only does 30 days).  Total= 30 days jail  plus probation.  This includes the bias statue of a hate crime. He also will not be deported. 
 Ravi Sentenced to 30 days jail time plus probation on the more serious charges today. He faced 30 days in jail. The judge said this sentenced will make both sides unhappy.
On evidence tampering-hindering and witness tampering, lying to the police,violation of privacy-30 days concurrent to the previous 30 days(served together only does 30 days).  Total= 30 days jail  plus probation.  This includes the bias statue of a hate crime. He also will not be deported. 

The parents of Tyler Clementi and Dharun Ravi, on opposite sides of a tragedy that would horrify any parents, have been in the public eye throughout the criminal case, but they've remained circumspect when choosing their public words about their predicaments and their sons.
But both families sat through nearly every minute of Ravi's four-week-long trial this year, where he was convicted in March of 15 criminal charges including invasion of privacy and tampering with evidence. And both appeared in public forums last week just before Ravi is to be sentenced for his deeds. The two most serious counts - bias intimidation - could get him up to 10 years in prison, though prosecutors have said that the maximum penalty is not necessary.

A sentence of more than a year would also increase the likelihood that federal immigration authorities will try to deport Ravi to India, where he was born and remains a citizen, though he has lived most of his life in New Jersey.
The case has turned both Clementi and Ravi, who for just three weeks a dorm room shared they were randomly assigned, into widely known symbols. Clementi is seen as an example of what can happen to young gays who are too often bullied even as acceptance of gays has increased. Ravi has been portrayed as a young man victimized by overzealous prosecutors who reacted to a tragedy by piling on charges. In their choices of where to appear, each couple has supported the symbolic perception of its own son.
A judge is to decide Ravi's sentence Monday during what's sure to be an emotional court hearing, including statements from people close to Clementi. Ravi's lawyer said Friday that it was not yet decided whether Ravi will speak.
Ravi's parents, who granted just a few interviews after their son was convicted last month, attended a rally last week at New Jersey's State House in Trenton. Several hundred supporters, nearly all of them Indian or Indian-American like them and their 20-year-old son, called for Ravi to be kept out of prison and for reforms to hate-crime laws that some of the same people rallied in favor of supporting two decades ago.
The protesters said Ravi, an Ultimate Frisbee player and computer whiz who was studying economics, should not have been convicted of hate crimes because he does not hate gay people and that prison is too harsh a punishment for someone who did not mean to hurt anyone.
Ravi's father did not speak at the rally. And his mother, Sabitha Ravi, thanked supporters but mostly chose to aim her words at the journalists who were there, saying those who covered the trial should speak up against her son getting being sent to prison. "You were quiet there. Why don't you wake up now and bring some justice for Dharun?" she asked.

When asked about how her family and her son were doing, she didn't have much to say: "You can all understand what he's going through," she said.
Clementi's parents have communicated with the public mostly through written statements or reading prepared statements after court proceedings. In one, they said that they wanted Ravi to be held accountable but that he need not be subject to a "harsh" punishment.

They did grant a handful of interviews, including one with The Associated Press, in December as they announced the launch of a foundation to honor their son. Then, they talked about how he had come out to gay to them days before he started at Rutgers.
In a handful other public appearances, they have spoken mostly about the work they intend to do through the foundation, which is focusing on promoting online civility, preventing bullying and encouraging the acceptance of gays and others perceived to be different.

On Thursday night, they attended a community theater preview production of "The Laramie Project," a play about fallout of the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student who was tied to a fence, savagely beaten and left for dead in a horrific case that led to hate-crime laws around the country.
The Clementis joined a panel discussion after the performance by the Bergen County Players. But they declined to say what sentence they believe Ravi should receive.

Instead, they spoke about the power of the play they had just seen. Joe Clementi said that people should take friends who are not accepting of those with differences to see productions of it.
"There are more of us people that think the way we think than there are people who are the haters," he said.
He also said that that his son's plight had echoes of the Matthew Shepard case. "The circumstances were different," he said. "The effect was the same.”

Editorial on sentence-click here

March 2, 2012

Latest on Ravi- Clemente Suicide Trial

There is now a verdict which you can find at: Split Verdict on Ravi Case

NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey  Glance: Dharun Ravi looks at spectators during his trial at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick, today. He is accused of spying on his roommate
 The man who had a gay sexual encounter with a Rutgers University student that a roommate saw via webcam made his first public appearance on Friday, telling jurors that he had noticed the webcam in the dorm room while in a "compromising" position.

The man, identified only as M.B. and named a victim in the case, was one of the last people to communicate with Tyler Clementi, 18, who killed himself on September 22, 2010, after learning his roommate Dharun Ravi secretly watched M.B. and Clementi kissing.

M.B., now 32, testified that after his meeting with Clementi, "I texted him every single day" and court evidence showed that Clementi texted back.

M.B. said he had intended to see the Rutgers University student again but was not sure he felt comfortable meeting him in the dorm.

Ravi, 20, is standing trial on 15 counts of invasion of privacy, witness and evidence tampering and bias intimidation, which is a hate crime. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

He is not charged in Clementi's suicide, which has been portrayed as a tragic example of bullying and the toll it often takes on gay teenagers. Prosecutors say Ravi spied on Clementi and intimidated him for being gay. The defense says Ravi behaved childishly but did not commit any crime.

M.B., whose identity has been kept secret to protect his privacy, said he met Clementi via, an online social network site for gay men, in August 2010, just before Clementi was beginning his freshman year at Rutgers.

It was on the second of three dates, all of which took place in the dormitory room, that he noticed the webcam aimed at Clementi's bed, M. B. testified.

"While we were intimate together on the bed, I glanced over my shoulder and I noticed there was a webcam turned toward the direction of the bed," he said.

"The only reason it stuck out was being in a compromising position and seeing a camera," said M.B., who said the men had sex on at least two occasions.

He later added, "There was no thought that someone was looking at me."

M.B. testified that when he left the dorm a group of about five people watched him and "it seemed kind of unsettling."

His testimony marked the first time the jury in New Jersey's Middlesex County Court heard from a witness who spent time with Clementi in the days before he died.

The two planned to see each other again, M.B. said.

"We wanted to see each other every single day. We had a good relationship," M.B. testified. Later he testified, "I left happy. And he was happy."

They met only three times, the shortest date about 45 minutes, the longest less than two hours. He never knew Clementi's last name until he read about his suicide in the newspaper, he said.

Other students who have testified were friends of Ravi's. A handful of them said they watched Clementi's encounter via webcam for a few seconds and only saw two men kissing.

While they testified that Ravi used the webcam to view his room, most of them said Ravi did not have a problem with his roommate's sexuality. One student testified that Ravi was concerned about a stranger in his room and wanted to make sure nothing was taken.

Under orders from Judge Glenn Berman, media cameras focused only on the hands of M.B., who was clean-shaven, with a stocky build and neatly cut black hair. He bore little resemblance to defense attorney Steven Altman's earlier statement that Clementi's visitor was "a scruffy, shady-looking, creepy, homeless-looking dude."

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GLAAD is Asking 1 of 5 Prime Time Characters to be LGBT by 2025

  ( Source: LifeSiteNews ) — The pro-LGBT actioGlad Asks For 1 of 5n group GLAAD released its annual report on the ...