Dharun Ravi To Be Released From Jail, Both Sides Appealing [AUDIO]
Dharun Ravi is expected to be released from the Middlesex County Jail today, having completed 20 days of his 30-day sentence in the Rutgers webcam spy case.
But its far from over. Both sides are now appealing.
Ravi was convicted this year of 15 criminal counts, including bias intimidation and invasion of privacy, for using a webcam to see his roommate kissing another man in September 2010. Days later, the roommate, Tyler Clementi, threw himself to his death off the George Washington Bridge.
Middlesex County Prosecutors have already appealed Ravi’s 30 day-sentence. They’re seeking a five-year state prison term.
The defense is challenging the constitutionality of the bias intimidation law under which Ravi was convicted.
“If thats reversed on appeal, you could see the entire conviction being reversed on appeal…and then there’s a possibility, if that situation occurs, is there going to be a new trial or not” said Greg Gianforcaro, a criminal defense attorney in Phillipsburg.
Gianforcaro said the defense is appealing that conviction.
“If the sentence is reversed on appeal, then Dharun Ravi faces a significant amount of additional time.”
“It will determine what kind of impact this kind of conduct was…and it will set the precedent for future trials and cases like this. He was convicted of numerous second-degree crimes which carry a maximum of ten years in New Jersey state prison, yet he was only given 30 days. There are going to be a lot of people looking at this from both sides” he added.
It could take up to two years before a three-judge panel decides.
“There are many angles and a lot for this panel to look at” said Gianforcaro.
Both the Middlesex County Prosecutors Office and Ravi’s attorney, Steve Altman were contacted for this story, but had no comment on the appeals.
No Deportation For Ravi
Federal immigration authorities say they won’t seek to deport Dharun Ravi.
Ravi was born in India and remains a citizen there. Under federal law, he could have faced deportation proceedings after completing his sentence.
But U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Monday that he won’t be removed from the U.S. because he has no prior criminal record.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)