Dharun Ravi Gets 30-Day Sentence In Rutgers Webcam Spying Case
A former Rutgers University student who was convicted of hate crimes for using a webcam to view his roommate and another man kissing days before the roommate killed himself will go to jail for 30 days.
The jail term for Dharun Ravi, 20, will be followed by three years probation, a judge ruled on Monday.
Judge Glenn Berman said he would not recommend Ravi be deported to India, where he was born and remains a citizen. He imposed a $10,000 probation fee.
The sentence resolved the latest part of an unusual and emotional case. While Ravi was not accused of causing Clementi’s death, the suicide hung over the trial, which also prompted discussion about the use of hate-crime law.
The case began in September 2010 when Ravi’s randomly assigned freshman-year roommate asked Ravi to stay away so he and a guest could have privacy.
Ravi went to a friend’s room and turned on his webcam remotely. Jurors at his trial earlier this year heard that he and the friend saw just seconds of Clementi kissing the guest, who was identified in court only by the initials MB. But they told others about it through instant messages and tweets.
And later, the friend, Molly Wei, showed a few seconds of the live-streamed video to other residents of the dorm. Wei later entered a pre-trial intervention programme that can spare her jail or a criminal record if she meets a list of conditions.
When Clementi, an 18-year-old violinist from Ridgewood, New Jersey, asked for privacy again two days later, Ravi agreed then told friends how they could access his webcam.
But this time, the webcam was not on when MB came over. There was testimony both that Clementi unplugged it and that Ravi himself put it to sleep.
The next night, Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington bridge. Jurors learned that he checked Ravi’s Twitter feed repeatedly before his suicide.