By Anna Peirano
Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi, who used a webcam to spy on his roommate having sex with another man, was sentenced to 30 days in jail by a judge in New Brunswick, N.J. today.
The roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide three days after one of the webcam viewings, three weeks into their freshman year in September of 2010.
Mr. Ravi had faced up to 10 years in prison. Judge Glenn Berman of Middlesex County Superior Court said the time in jail was for witness and evidence tampering and lying to police – not for Ravi’s bias crimes against Clementi.
The gay community has been divided on the situation – some believing it to be a hate crime while others see what is being done to Ravi as a form of revenge.
Aaron Hicklin, editor of Out, wrote after Ravi’s conviction that, “the verdict also left a bitter aftertaste, as if what was being satisfied was not justice, but revenge…”
Gay rights activist Bill Dobbs said, “The hate crime law in New Jersey has got so many problems that it should be repealed. It has become a dangerous weapon that is not necessary.”
Lesbian writer E.J. Graff said, “I fear that Ravi is an easy scapegoat for a complicated problem.”
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