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Dharun Ravi Sentenced to 30 Days in Webcam Case

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By Andrew Chow, Esq. on May 21, 2012 12:24 PM

Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student convicted in a webcam spying incident that preceded his gay roommate Tyler Clementi's suicide, has been sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Prosecutors and lawyers for Ravi, 20, plan to appeal the sentence, The Star-Ledger reports. Until then, Ravi remains free.

A jury in March convicted Ravi of 15 criminal counts including invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, and witness and evidence tampering. Ravi remained silent in court Monday, which drew a sharp rebuke from the judge:

"I heard this jury say guilty 288 times: 24 questions, 12 jurors, that's the multiplication," Judge Glenn Berman told Dharun Ravi from the bench, according to The Star-Ledger. "And I haven't heard you apologize once."

Ravi used a webcam to spy on his roommate Tyler Clementi's gay sexual encounters in their dorm room in 2010. Ravi used Twitter to encourage a handful of other Rutgers students to watch Clementi's encounters online. After Clementi found out, he committed suicide.

Two of Ravi's convictions were for bias intimidation based on sexual orientation, which can result in a possible 10-year prison term. But Judge Berman said Ravi "was not convicted of a hate crime. He was convicted of a bias crime, and there's a difference.

"I do not believe he hated Tyler Clementi. He had no reason to," Berman continued. "But I do believe that he acted out of colossal insensitivity."

In addition to 30 days in jail, set to begin May 31, Berman also sentenced Ravi to three years of probation, 300 hours of community service, and counseling regarding cyber bullying and alternative lifestyles. Ravi must also pay a $10,000 fine, which will go to a facility dedicated to victims of bias crimes, The Star-Ledger reports.

Judge Berman declined to deport Ravi, an Indian national who has spent most of his life in New Jersey.

Before Dharun Ravi's sentencing, Tyler Clementi's parents addressed the court. "We are seeking justice and accountability, not revenge," Tyler's father said, according to The Star-Ledger.

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