Ex-Rutgers Student Convicted Of Bullying Gay Roommate Starts Jail Term

By: CNN (Posted by Kion Hudson)
By: CNN (Posted by Kion Hudson)

(CNN)-- Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student who was found guilty of using a webcam to spy on and intimidate his gay roommate, has reported to a New Jersey jail Thursday where he will serve a 30-day sentence, according to Middlesex County Sheriff Mildred Scott.

Ravi turned himself in to authorities, who then transported him to jail Thursday afternoon, Scott said.

Is 30-day sentence fair?

A day earlier, Ravi apologized for spying on his roommate, Tyler Clementi, with a webcam.

"I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices that I made on September 19, 2010, and September 21, 2010," Ravi said in a statement Wednesday.

Clementi, 18, killed himself by jumping off New York's George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River after learning Ravi had secretly recorded his intimate encounter with another man.

Ravi's court appearance Wednesday formalized his decision to head to jail, waiving his right not to serve jail time twice for the same crime, as prosecutors appeal his sentence.

New Jersey prosecutors argue that Ravi's crimes warranted more than a 30-day jail term and called Superior Judge Glenn Berman's sentence "insufficient under the sentencing laws of this state."

Berman defended the jail sentence Wednesday, CNN affiliate WABC reported.

"I can't find it in me to remand him to state prison that house people convicted of offenses such as murder, armed robbery and rape," Berman said. "I don't believe that fits this case. I believe that he has to be punished and he will be."

CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin said there is "very little chance" the sentence will be overturned on appeal. He noted that under New Jersey law, the judge had the flexibility to sentence Ravi to anything from zero to 10 years in prison.

Ravi was handed a 30-day jail sentence, three years of probation and must complete 300 hours of community service aimed at assisting victims of bias crimes. He also must pay more than $11,000 in restitution.

"I decided to accept and hopefully complete the sentence as soon as possible. It's the only way I can go on with my life," Ravi said in his statement. His attorney said he intends to begin community service after he serves his sentence and will start paying his fines in August.


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