Dharun Ravi Will Leave Jail Early, Won't be Deported

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Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers student convicted of using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate, Tyler Clementi, is scheduled to be released from jail on Tuesday morning. He will not face deportation proceedings upon his release, a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman said.

Ravi's release from the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick, New Jersey will come ten days before the end of the 30-day jail sentence handed down in May by Judge Glenn Burman. He was given an early release date "for good behavior and work credit," according to Kate Zernike, who explained why Ravi will not be deported in The New York Times

Officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement said they were not allowed to remove individuals, like Mr. Ravi, who are lawful permanent residents of the United States, unless they are convicted of an aggravated felony, domestic violence, drug or weapons charges or “crimes of moral turpitude.”

“Based on a review of Mr. Ravi’s criminal record, ICE is not initiating removal proceedings at this time,” said Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for the immigration and customs agency.

Immigration officials said the decision would be reconsidered only if Mr. Ravi, who moved here from India when he was 6, committed crimes in the future.

Ravi, now 20, originally faced up to 10 years in prison for hate crimes. He was convicted of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation and hindering prosecution after using a webcam to spy on his roommate, Tyler Clementi, then 18, when the two young men were freshmen roommates in 2010. Days after learning that Ravi had used social media to urge others to watch Clementi's encounter with an older man he met online, Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge in September, 2010. (Ravi was not charged with the death of Clementi, but during the trial, Ravi's lawyer addressed how hard it would be for the jury to erase the suicide from their minds.)

Last February, Ian Parker took an intimate approach to telling the background story in The New Yorker, detailing the events that led up to Clementi's suicide, as well as the media explosion that followed. 

Clementi’s death became an international news story, fusing parental anxieties about the hidden worlds of teen-age computing, teen-age sex, and teen-age unkindness. ABC News and others reported that a sex tape had been posted on the Internet. CNN claimed that Clementi’s room had “become a prison” to him in the days before his death. Next Media Animation, the Taiwanese company that turns tabloid stories into cartoons, depicted Ravi and Wei reeling from the sight of Clementi having sex under a blanket. Ellen DeGeneres declared that Clementi had been “outed as being gay on the Internet and he killed himself. Something must be done.”

...It became widely understood that a closeted student at Rutgers had committed suicide after video of him having sex with a man was secretly shot and posted online. In fact, there was no posting, no observed sex, and no closet.

Both the prosecution and the defense said they intend to appeal the outcome of the case. In the meantime, after Ravi is released, he will begin a three year probation sentence, perform 300 hours of community service and pay roughly $10,000 in fines.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.