Ravi Tells Judge He's Ready to Serve Time; Judge Defends Controversial Sentencing
Ravi will begin serving his 30-day jail term on Thursday, according to published reports.
Dharun Ravi told the judge who sentenced him to 30 days in jail and three years of probation that he was ready to surrender himself to authorities, according to published news reports.
Ravi, 20, of Plainsboro, was convicted on all 15 charges related to using a web cam to spy on intimate encounters between college roommate Tyler Clementi and his male lover, known as "M.B." Ravi also joked about the encounters and urged friends to attend a "viewing party."
Clementi, of Ridgewood, leaped off the George Washington Bridge days later, generating considerable attention on LBGT issues, bullying and suicide.
Through his attorney, Ravi, a computer whiz, told Judge Glenn Berman he will report to the Middlesex County Correctional Facility on Thursday, The Star-Ledger reported.
"It’s the only way I can go on with my life," Ravi said in the statement on Tuesday, which contained his first public apology to date. "My behavior and actions, which at no time were motivated by hate, bigotry, prejudice or desire to hurt, humiliate or embarrass anyone, were nonetheless the wrong choices and decisions."
The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office has appealed Ravi's sentence, which has been criticized as being too lenient a punishment for a felony charges.
Ravi could have landed 10 years in prison; the state sentencing guidelines recommend five-to-seven years in prison for second degree crimes, though a lesser sentence could have been handed down if mitigating circumstances were found.
Citing his age and remarking he found Ravi's actions reprehensible but not hateful, Judge Berman defended his sentence on Wednesday.
"I can’t find it in me to remand him to state prison that houses people convicted of offenses such as murder, armed robbery and rape," the judge stated, according to The New York Times. "I don’t believe that that fits this case. I believe that he has to be punished, and he will be."
Lead Prosecutor Julia McClure last week appealed Berman's sentence. On Wednesday, according to the Times report, she said the Prosecutor's Office felt a five-year sentence would be appropriate.
Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told CNN there is "very little chance" the sentence will be overturned on appeal, saying the judge had a wide range of flexibility in sentencing.
Ravi is likely to serve closer to 20 days in jail with good behavior. He said he understood that if his appeal is successful, he will have served jail time he would not have been required to serve, The Star-Ledger reported.
Ravi's attorney, Joseph Benedict, said his client intends to begin community service work when out of jail, CBS 2 reported. He was also ordered to attend counseling sessions for "alernate lifestyles". He'll pay fines on Aug. 1.