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Dharun Ravi: I'll go to jail in webcam case

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- A former Rutgers University student convicted of using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate gave up his right to remain free yesterday while New Jersey prosecutors appeal his 30-day jail sentence.

Dharun Ravi was in court to put on the record his decision to report to jail today and waive his right not to be punished twice for the same crime.

His lawyer, Joseph Benedict, said Ravi intends to begin doing community service when he's out of jail, and will start paying fines on Aug. 1. His sentence includes 300 hours of community service and more than $11,000 in court assessments.

The state's appeal of Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman's sentence as too lenient had stayed the sentence. Prosecutors sought to have Ravi sent to state prison rather than county jail, though not necessarily the 10-year maximum sentence Ravi faced for bias intimidation.

Middlesex County First Assistant Prosecutor Julia McClure said in court yesterday that she thought a five-year sentence would be appropriate.

Ravi announced Tuesday he had decided to start his jail term. He then issued his first public apology while continuing to deny his actions were motivated by hate or bigotry.

Ravi was convicted in March of bias intimidation, invasion of privacy and other crimes for watching a brief live webstream of roommate Tyler Clementi kissing another man in September 2010. Clementi threw himself from the George Washington Bridge days later, after learning of the webcam.


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