Gay Rights Advocates Split on Webcam Spying; Prosecutor Wanted 5 Years


A New Jersey judge offered a spirited defense of the 30-day jail sentence he imposed on Dharvun Ravi, the ex-Rutgers University student convicted of using a webcam to spy on his roommate having sex with another man, the New York Times reports. Judge Glenn Berman said Ravi, convicted of spying on his roommate, did not deserve to spend time in a state prison alongside murderers and rapists.

Berman said, “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,” adding. “I believe that he has to be punished, and he will be.” In addition to the jail term, Ravi was sentenced to 300 hours of community service, three years' probation and $10,000 to be paid to a fund that helps victims of bias crimes. The sentence has divided gay rights advocates, with some arguing that 30 days was little more than a slap on the wrist, and others arguing that his conduct, while despicable, did not merit the same punishment as the kind of violent or threatening behavior typically associated with bias crimes. The lead prosecutor called for a 5-year prison term.

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