Why Dharun Ravi got 30 days in jail in Rutgers webcam spying case (+video)
Ravi was not charged with causing the death of Tyler Clementi, his roommate. But a jury this year found Ravi guilty of 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy, "bias intimidation," and obstructing justice after police began investigating.
Judge Glenn Berman opted for a middle-ground sentence, issuing what he said were serious punishments for serious crimes, but stopping short of a lengthy prison term.
Perhaps central to the relatively light 30-day jail time was this: Judge Berman made a point of noting that Ravi's actions, however reprehensible, were not violent and that neither he nor the prosecution was using the term "hate crime" to describe them.
"I do not believe [the legislature] envisioned this type of behavior" when it passed the anti-bias statute at the heart of the case, Berman said.
Berman said he would recommend against deportation for Ravi, who has Indian citizenship although he has lived most of his life in America. The judge noted that his stance was aligned with the view of one of the victims in the case. The man known in the trial as "M.B.," whose privacy was violated along with Mr. Clementi's, provided a statement opposing the idea of deporting Ravi for his offenses.
Ravi chose not to speak prior to his sentencing.
The judge, addressing Ravi, said "I haven't heard you apologize," and he said in a pre-sentencing letter Ravi had apologized to Tyler Clementi and the Clementi family, but had not mentioned M.B. or the guilty verdicts regarding corruption of the judicial process. The jury found Ravi guilty of witness tampering, lying to police, and deleting text messages and Twitter posts.
Some advocates against bias crimes said Ravi's sentence was too light.