Dharun Ravi Sentenced To 30 Days In Rutgers Webcam Case [VIDEO/POLL]
After an emotional morning of letters read aloud in open court from both Ravi and Tyler Clementi families Dharun Ravi was sentenced to a 30-day jail sentence and then probation in the Rutgers webcam case, a sentence that Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan feels is "insufficient."
Judge Glen Berman also gave 20-year-old Dharun Ravi three years of probation, resolving the first part of the legal odyssey in an unusual, emotional and tragic case dealing with the consequences of bad decisions by young people in the Internet age -- but certainly not ending the debate surrounding New Jersey's tough hate-crimes laws.
Berman said he would not recommend Ravi be deported to India, where he was born and remains a citizen. But Ravi was ordered to get counseling and to pay $10,000 that would go to a program to help victims of bias crimes.
In a statement, Kaplan said, "While the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office did not request the maximum period of incarceration for Dharun Ravi, it was expected that his conviction on multiple offenses of invading the privacy of two victims on two separate occasions, four counts of bias intimidation against Tyler Clementi, and the coverup of those crimes, would warrant more than a 30-day jail term.
"The imposition of this term is insufficient under the sentencing laws of this state, the facts that were determined by a jury, and long-standing appellate precedent. Consequently, this office will appeal the sentence.
Neither the family nor legal teams chose to meet with the media after the sentencing.
It was a long morning in JudgeBerman's courtroom at Middlesex County Superior Court as both sides argued various points of the trial. Defense attorney Philip Nettl argued for an acquittal and for a new trial.
The parents of Dharun Ravi and his former roommate Tyler Clementi read victim impact statements in open court. An emotional Sabitha Ravi, Dharun Ravi's mother, said her has been “broken into pieces” for the past 20 months. She blamed the media for misrepresenting her son in their coverage of Tyler Clementi's suicide and during the trial.
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Dharun Ravi's father said his son was not raised to be homophobic. He too also took issue with media coverage of the trial. “No one cared about the more truthful side of the story because it was not sensational, doesn’t help media ratings, doesn’t give any political mileage doesn’t help advance lobby group’s agenda,” Pazhani said.
Joe Clementi says Dharun Ravi saw his son as undeserving of basic human decency, and that he saw him as below him because he was gay. He says Ravi "still does not get it" and has no remorse. Jane Clementi told the court in her victim impact statement, “I felt like a piece of me died in September 2010,” she said. “The pain and the anguish that I felt during the trial was overwhelming at times.
Tyler's brother James wondered if Ravi is “even capable of empathizing with another person.”
Dharun Ravi chose not to address the court.
Dharun Ravi's roommate, Tyler Clementi, was held up as a symbol of what bullying can do to young gays. He killed himself in September 2010 by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.
Advocates for Ravi have protested the idea that he could be sent to prison for years for what they see as a misguided decision -- but one that may not have been linked to Clementi's suicide.
A jury convicted Dharun Ravi in March of all 15 criminal counts he faced.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.