A former Rutgers University student was sentenced on Monday to 30 days in prison for a bias crime after he spied on his roommate's gay encounter in a case that drew national attention to bullying.
Dharun Ravi, 20, had faced a maximum of 10 years behind bars for his conviction for using a webcam to invade the privacy of his roommate, Tyler Clementi, and an older man in their college dorm room.
Clementi, 18, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge in September 2010, days after learning Ravi watched them through the computer-mounted camera and used social media to encourage others to do so. Ravi was not charged with causing Clementi's death.
In handing down the relatively light sentence, Judge Glenn Berman emphasized that he never referred to Ravi's action as a hate crime - a term commonly used to describe bias intimidation laws - but rather as a bias crime.
"I don't believe he hated Tyler Clementi. He had no reason to. But I do believe he acted out of colossal insensitivity," Berman said. The judge then sentenced Ravi to 30 days in prison, followed by three years probation, 300 hours of community service as well as counseling about cyberbullying and alternative lifestyles.
He ordered Ravi to pay $10,000 for a community-based organization that assists victims of bias crimes and to pay $1,900 in penalties.
"I heard this jury say 'guilty' 288 times. Twenty-four questions, 12 jurors. That's the multiplication. I haven't heard you apologize once," Berman told Ravi.
The judge also pledged to recommend that Ravi, who was born in India and grew up in the United States, not be deported. A similar recommendation was made by the older man, identified only as M.B., in a letter his lawyer read in court before sentence was imposed.
I think it is a good thing that judge gave a pretty lenient sentence considering that Ravi was facing 10 years in jail for this idiotic charge. It was wrong how the DA sought to make an example of Ravi. I have an idea: how about the DA spend 10 years in jail instead of Ravi since he is so anxious to make a statement. It is obviously immoral and arguably criminal to be making Draconian examples out of people.
If Ravi grew up here I don't know why he isn't already a citizen. I guess the process takes a really long time. That shouldn't be an issue either.
Ultimately Clementi killed himself for his own random reasons. He had already come out of the closet to his family and I believe his friends as well. Also, how in the world are kids supposed to be prepared to have two gay dudes fucking each other in their rooms. I sure as fuck wasn't ready for it in college. I'm ready for it now: move the fuck out, or have him move the fuck out.