After emotional appeals from parents on both sides of the case, Dharun Ravi was this afternoon sentenced to 30 days in jail and probation for bias intimidation and invasion of privacy when he used a webcam to spy on his gay roommate at Rutgers University in September 2010.
That roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide shortly after the incident involving the webcam. The tragedy has gotten national attention. As The Associated Press says:
“The case has turned both Clementi and Ravi, who for just three weeks shared a Rutgers University dorm room they were randomly assigned, into widely known symbols. Clementi is seen as an example of what can happen to young gays who are too often bullied even as acceptance of gays has increased. Ravi has been portrayed as a young man victimized by overzealous prosecutors who reacted to a tragedy by piling on charges.”
New Jersey Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman told Ravi that “I haven’t heard you apologize once,” but also that he did not believe the 20-year-old would ever commit another such crime. Berman began delivering the sentence during the noon hour, and by 12:45 p.m. ET had not yet spelled out how long Ravi’s probation would last.
New Jersey’s Star-Ledger live blogged today’s sentencing hearing. As it reports, Clementi’s parents asked for justice. Jane Clementi, Tyler’s mother, called Ravi’s actions “malicious and evil.” James Clementi, the young man’s father, said he wonders if Ravi is “even capable of emphathizing with another person.”
Ravi Pazhani, the defendant’s father, said “we are not a homophobic family.” Sabitha Ravi, the mother, said her son’s life has been shattered and taht he is “kind-hearted and loving.”
Dharun Ravi did not address the court.
As we’ve said in other posts, for a very detailed look at “The Story Of A Suicide,” see this piece from The New Yorker.