Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi was sentenced to 30 days in jail by a New Jersey judge on Monday for using a webcam to spy on his roommate, Tyler Clementi, as he engaged in sexual activity with another man. Days later, Clementi, a freshman, committed suicide.
I do not believe he hated Tyler Clementi, Judge Glenn Berman told the court during the sentencing, according to multiple media reports. He had no reason to, but I do believe he acted out of colossal insensitivity.
In March, Ravi, who is now 20, was convicted of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, witness tampering and hindering arrest for his role in using a webcam to spy on Clementi, who was gay. Ravi invited his Twitter friends to view Clementi's tryst with a visitor in September 2010. The family of Clementi asked the judge to sentence Ravi to prison time, accusing him of looking down on Clementi simply because he was gay.
He did it in a cold, calculating manner and then he tried to cover it up, Joseph Clementi, the victim's father, told the judge.
He added that one of Tyler Clementi's last actions was to check Ravi's Twitter page 37 times. He then left the Rutgers campus and drove to the George Washington Bridge, which spans the Hudson River, where the 18-year-old jumped to his death.
Ravi's stoic demeanor during the trial was a focal point for Clementi's family, who accused him of having a lack of remorse for his crime. Tyler Clementi's mother, Jane, recalled the day she helped her son move into his Rutgers dorm room and noticed Ravi did not get up from his computer to say hello or otherwise acknowledge her son's presence.
He never even paused to acknowledge that Tyler was in the room. He never stopped what he was doing, no greeting, no smile, no recognition, no nothing, she said, adding that she initially thought Ravi may have been stressed or overwhelmed. However, she told the judge that she realized during the trial that it was simply an expression of his personality.
Clementi's brother, James, echoed his mother's sentiment.
I watched as Dharun slept through court as if it was not worth paying attention, he said, according to ABC News. I watched Dharun and his lawyers laugh as if it were a private joke.
Ravi appeared moved only during his mother's testimony before the judge's sentencing, according to media reports. She reportedly pleaded for leniency in his sentencing, during which both she and Ravi broke into tears.
Although Ravi was expected to make a statement to the New Brunswick, N.J., courtroom, he reportedly declined to speak after his mother's comments.
Ravi faced a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Any jail time will also likely lead to deportation for the Indian native.
Ravi must report to the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center on May 31 at 9 a.m. EDT for his sentence. He also must perform 300 hours of community service and will be on probation for three years.