Dharun Ravi (left) & Tyler Clementi
A man who was accused of playing a part in the suicide of a gay university student has been sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Dharun Ravi was found guilty of 15 counts of spying on his roommate Tyler Clementi, including charges of bias intimidation, tampering evidence and hindering apprehension.
It is thought that Ravi’s actions, which in essence outed Clementi, led to the 18-year-old committing suicide.
On Monday, Ravi was sentenced by New Jersey Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman to 30 days in jail, three years probation, 300 hours of community service, a $10,000 fine, and counselling on cyber bullying and alternate lifestyles.
“I heard this jury say guilty 288 times. 24 questions, 12 jurors. That’s the multiplication. And I haven’t heard you apologise once,” Judge Berman told Ravi in court.
“I do not believe he hated Tyler Clementi. I do believe he acted out of colossal insensitivity”, he added.
Many have expressed surprise at the leniency of the sentence.
“Thirty days is what you get for petty larceny,” wrote the New York Daily News in an editorial following the sentencing. “Thirty days is what you get for spray-painting graffiti. Thirty days is what Dharun Ravi got for spying on a gay college roommate’s sexual encounter and posting the news on the Internet. Thirty days was not enough.”
Clementi, a student at Rutgers University in New Jersey, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge on 22 September 2010.
Three days earlier Ravi, along with another student Molly Wei, had used a remote webcam to secretly watch Clementi kissing a man.
On 21 September, they told friends and followers on social media to watch another of Clementi’s romantic rendezvous, which they planned to broadcast via the webcam for a “viewing party”.
While this second incident was not broadcast because Clementi switched off the camera, the humiliated student had discovered Ravi’s postings and shortly thereafter committed suicide.
Wei, the other student involved in the spying, accepted a plea agreement last year, allowing her to avoid prosecution,