NEW YORK (Reuters) – Prosecutors on Thursday recommended a former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi be sentenced to prison but not the maximum term of 10 years for his hate crimes conviction for spying on his roommate’s gay encounter.
Ravi’s roommate, Tyler Clementi, 18, killed himself three days after learning his September 2010 tryst with an older man was seen by a computer-mounted camera Ravi had set up in the room he shared with Clementi.
Clementi’s fatal leap off the George Washington Bridge focused a national spotlight on gay bullying and teen suicide.
The Middlesex County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Office said the recommendation for prison time was supported by Clementi’s family and the older man, identified only as “M.B.”
A jury in March convicted Ravi of hate crimes for encouraging others to watch the encounter by accessing the webcam from their own computers. He was not charged with causing Clementi’s death.
Ravi, 20, was found guilty of all 15 charges against him, including bias intimidation, commonly called a hate crime.
At his sentencing on May 21 in Middlesex County Superior Court, Ravi faces a possible 10 years in prison. He also faces possible deportation, as he grew up in the United States but is an Indian citizen.
The defense has asked for probation for Ravi, who has no criminal record. The defense also is appealing the verdict and seeking a new trial.
The prosecutor, in the sentencing brief, asked for “a period of imprisonment” but is “not asking the Court to sentence defendant Dharun Ravi to the maximum sentences.”
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Bill Trott)