Ravi Sentenced in Tyler Clementi Case

Dharun Ravi was sentenced today for his violations of Tyler  Clementi’s privacy.  From Yahoo:

A New Jersey judge sentenced a former Rutgers student to 30 days in jail for using a webcam to spy on his roommate kissing another man.

Dharun Ravi, 20, was convicted on two second-degree bias intimidation charges in a case that garnered national headlines because his roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide after the spying.

Clementi, 18, jumped from the George Washington Bridge three days after learning that a September 2010 encounter with an older man was seen by a computer-mounted camera Ravi had set up in their dorm room. The case highlighted the issues of gay bullying and teen suicide.

The judge also placed three years of probation. Rave faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The judge spared the prison time and did not recommend Ravi be deported to India, where he was born and remains a citizen. Ravi was also ordered to get counseling and to pay $10,000 towards a program to help victims of bias crimes.

Update: Just after I posted this, I saw that Danielle Citron got to this first.  Check out her post here.

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2 Responses

  1. marc poirier says:

    The judge made clear in delivering the sentence that the 30 days jail time was specifically for the various witness and evidence tampering charges, which he characterized as lying, and which he linked to Mr. Ravi’s lying to roommate Clementi. He also addressed the New Jersey bias crimes statute, saying he didn’t believe that it was intended to address nonviolent crimes such as those committed here. He made it clear repeatedly (and throughout the trial, actually) that Mr. Ravi was not being held responsible for Mr. Clementi’s death — a point that I believe many of those who seek a harsh sentence contineu to blur.

    Judge Berman’s thoughtful and detailed oral comments had very little to say about invasion of privacy, actually. He characterized Mr. Ravi act’s as “colossal insensitivity” and not hate-motivated. The case has been perceived here in New Jersey as about bullying and the New Jersey bias crime law, not much of an indicator or invasion of privacy outside the context of teenager behavior, actually. The 5 – 10 year sentence recommendation with a presumption of jail time stems from the bias intimidation convictions and one or two of the evidence and witness charges, not the webcam spying. Many folks who thought that possibility too harsh were surprised by the leniency of Judge Bemran’s sentence.

    And, by the way, New Jersey’s so-called “invasion of privacy” statute is actually only about clandestinely observing sexual behavior that should have been private, or making visual records of or broadcasting others’ sexual behavior. It’s not a broad privacy right in our criminal law.

  2. Dissent says:

    Count me among those who thought that Judge Berman’s sentence was too light. As Marc says, he paid short shrift to the privacy invasion aspects. I blogged my reaction here: http://www.pogowasright.org/?p=28577

    I would have preferred for the judge to point out what consequences the invasion of privacy conviction had and that it added to whatever time Ravi would serve for witness and evidence tampering.

    Can there be any doubt that the invasion of privacy caused grievous anguish and emotional harm to Tyler Clementi and M.B.? Where were the consequences for the criminal invasion of privacy? Clementi’s family should not have to sue Ravi civilly to get justice for that.