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Monday, May 21, 2012

Dharun Ravi Sentenced To 30-Days Because He Did NOT Commit Hate Crime; Cyber Bullying Yes! Hate Crime? NO!

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Dharun Ravi sentenced to 30 days in jail for Rutgers Tyler Clementi spycam case

A judge sentenced former Rutgers student Dharun Ravi today to 30 days in jail for using a webcam to spy on his roommate's intimate encounter with another man.

Ravi, 20, was also placed on three years' probation

"Our society has every right to expect zero tolerance for intolerance," Judge Glenn Berman said in imposing far less than the maximum, 10 years behind bars.

In addition, Ravi was ordered to get counseling and pay $10,000 toward a program to help victims of hate crimes.

Berman told Ravi to report to the Middlesex County Adult Correctional facility on May 31.

In handing down Monday's sentence, the judge told Ravi that while someone might argue the first spying attempt was a foolish prank, "You cannot make or milk that argument a second time."

The judge also scolded Ravi for deleting scores of text messages and tweets and trying to influence a witness. At the same time, Berman said Ravi has spent the past 20 months in "exile" since his arrest. And the judge also pointed out that Ravi was not charged in Clementi's death.

Ravi did not speak at his sentencing. But his mother, Sabitha Ravi, tearfully told the judge her son "doesn't have any hatred in his heart towards anybody."

Clementi's father, Joe Clementi, told the judge that Ravi deserved to be punished, saying the young man saw his son as undeserving of basic human decency. The elder Clementi said Ravi "still does not get it" and has no remorse.

Ravi was convicted in March of 15 criminal counts, including bias intimidation and invasion of privacy, for using his webcam to view his 18- year-old roommate Tyler Clementi kissing another man in September 2010. Clementi committed suicide just days after the online peeping and quickly became a symbol of the plight of gay youth in America.

Supporters saw Ravi as a symbol too, of the justice system gone awry in search of someone to blame. Several hundred protesters showed up at the New Jersey State House last Monday to rally in support of Ravi and to call attention to what they see as injustices in New Jersey's hate-crime laws.

Ravi could face deportation to India, where he was born and remains as a citizen, although the judge said he added a notation to his judgement recommending that Ravi not be deported.

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Sources: AP, ABC News, Youtube, Google Maps

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