Dharun Ravi sentenced to 30 days in jail for bias crime

Mon. May 21, 2012 11:44 AM by GoPride.com News Staff

Dharun Ravi, convicted in the suicide death of his roommate at Rutgers University, was sentenced to 30 days in jail by a New Jersey judge today.

"I do not believe he hated Tyler Clementi," Judge Glenn Berman told the court. "He had no reason to, but I do believe he acted out of colossal insensitivity."

In March, Ravi, 20, was found guilty of a bias crime for using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate Tyler Clementi making out with another man. Ravi tweeted about Clementi's date and also got other students to watch.

Clementi complained to the resident advisor and then killed himself on Sept. 19, 2010.

Ravi faced a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Gay leaders in New Jersey were not happy.

"We have spoken out against giving him the maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and against deporting him. That would have been vengeance beyond punishment and beyond sending a message to the rest of society," said Steven Goldstein of Garden State Equality. "But we have similarly rejected the other extreme that Ravi should have gotten no jail time at all, and today's sentencing is closer to that extreme than the other. This was not merely a childhood prank gone awry."

Goldstein noted that Ravi had been clear in his anti-gay bias, and that if Clementi had been making out with a girl, things might have turned out differently."

"Remember that Ravi had messaged his motivation in violating Tyler's privacy: 'I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.' Remember that before Tyler took his life, Ravi messaged a friend: 'Keep the gays away,'" Goldstein said.

Clementi's family members spoke at the sentencing hearing.

"I cannot imagine the level of rejection, isolation and disdain he must have felt from his peers," Tyler's brother, James Clementi, said, according to the New York Times. "Dharun never bothered to care about the harm he was doing to my brother's heart and mind. My family has never heard an apology, an acknowledgment of any wrongdoing."