Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi, 20, was sentenced to 30 days in jail, along with 3 years probation, for his use of a webcam in spying on his former roommate, which resulted in his suicide. Ravi was found guilty in March on 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, and was also sentenced to 300 hours of community service, and must contribute $10,000 towards a program to help victims of bias crimes. Judge Glenn Berman also ordered Ravi to enter into counseling.
Ravi’s former roommate, Tyler Clementi, jumped off the George Washington Bridge in New York City in September 2010, after realizing a sexual encounter he had had with another male was secretly recorded by Ravi, who then wrote about it on his Twitter account. The case became relevant to the national debate on bullying. After realizing that Ravi had been showing people the recording, Clementi posted a status update on Facebook reading, “Jumping off the gw bridge, sorry.”
Ravi had faced up to 10 years in prison and possible deportation to India, where he is still a citizen though Berman recommended forgoing a deportation. Joseph Clementi, Tyler’s father, stated, “We are seeking justice and accountability, not revenge, and with that accountability comes consequences – Justice is a difficult thing to define, yet when we get it, we know it.” Clementi’s mother added, referring to Ravi, “He never really knew Tyler – Not the smart, kind, articulate, humble, funny, generous person Tyler was. All he found out was that Tyler was gay.” From the Clementi’s point of view, little justice has yet to be defined. Ravi’s mother chimed in, “Dharun’s dreams are shattered and he has been living in hell for the past 20 months.”
Ravi’s lawyers called the case a miscarriage of justice and wanted an acquittal or a retrial, but Berman wasn’t having it, stating, “I’m not going to say here that he had a perfect trial – But I’m convinced without any question, he got a fair one.”