|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Ravi guilty on all counts in webcam spying trial
NEW BRUNSWICK — The deal was on the table months ago.
Plead guilty, prosecutors told Dharun Ravi, and you likely won’t go to prison.
Ravi, charged in a first-of-its-kind prosecution linking invasion of privacy to a hate crime, rebuffed the offer, opting to take his chances with a jury.
Today, in a New Brunswick courtroom filled to overflow, the 20-year-old Plainsboro man learned the consequence of his choice as a jury forewoman spoke his fate.
Guilty of invading the privacy of his Rutgers University roommate, Tyler Clementi, by using a webcam to remotely spy on an intimate tryst between Clementi and an older man. Three days after that encounter in September 2010, the distraught teen leaped to his death from the George Washington Bridge, catapulting the case into the national spotlight.
Guilty of witness tampering, hindering apprehension and tampering with evidence.
Most significant, guilty of bias intimidation, a second-degree felony indicating Ravi targeted Clementi because he was gay and knew his actions would hurt him.
In a precedent-setting verdict that legal experts and advocates say draws a firm line against bullying and harassment in a wired world, the jury convicted Ravi of 15 counts that could land him in prison for a decade. He also faces the possibility of deportation to his native India, from which he legally emigrated as a child.
In December, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office offered him a plea bargain including probation, 600 hours of community service and an offer to help avoid deportation, but Ravi, rejected it. His attorney said he rejected it because he is innocent.