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WHAT A BARGAIN

Tyler Clementi Tormenter Dharun Ravi Would Rather Face A Jury Than Do Community Service

dharun-raviA generous plea deal has been turned down by Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student accused of broadcasting his roommate Tyler Clementi’s sexual encounter with another man just days before Clementi leapt to his death from the George Washington Bridge.

According to NJ.com, “Ravi is charged with invasion of privacy, bias intimidation and other counts, with Clementi and another man, identified only as M.B., as the victims….”

Had he accepted the deal, Ravi would have been given a probationary sentence with the conditions that he perform 600 hours of community service, receive counseling associated with cyber-bullying and alternative lifestyles, and agree to destroy any remaining information about MB. The state would also ask the judge to treat the bias charge, a second-degree offense with a presumption of about seven years of state prison time, as a third-degree offense.”

So Ravi would rather risk a seven-year prison term than serve 600 hours of community service, plus maybe 50 hours of LGBT-sensitivity counseling? Doing the math, 650 hours is about 27 days—a small price to pay, in our estimation.

But there’s a clear reason he’s gunning for a trial: Ravi is probably going to get off the hook completely. As a lawyer friend tells us, cases like this are tough to prove: “If I tell you that I’m sending pictures of you doing the dirty with five other guys to your boss and they can prove that my goal was to have you commit suicide, they’ve got a case. But if all they can show is that I’m an asshole and I, unfortunately, hit you at a particularly vulnerable time, it’s a much harder case to prove.”

If only being an asshole was against the law.

 

By:           Evan Mulvihill
On:           Dec 9, 2011
Tagged: , ,
  • 21 Comments
    • bagooka
      bagooka

      I hope this piece of shit gets the maximum sentence.

      Dec 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TMikel
      TMikel

      It isn’t and more’s the pity – look at Congress. Being an asshole seems to be prerequisite to a seat in the House or Senate.

      Dec 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Linda Metz Mooney
      Linda Metz Mooney

      I hope this scumbag get’s the book thrown at him ! I think ALL school’s need to include sexual orintation in their anti-bullying classes…I think ALL schools should have anti-bullying classes PERIOD. Some people have been bullied so harshly for other reasons too and have committed suicide as a result. This waste of space doesn’t deserve to live…throw HIM out a VERY high window ! What an arrogant bigoted piece of shit!

      Dec 9, 2011 at 3:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kylew
      kylew

      @Josh Childress: Agree with you here Josh. If the average straight showed one fraction the intoleance towards us that you guys show them, we’d be a lot deeper water. The consequences of this action were terrible, but it’s unlikely that was the intent, and it should be viewed in that light.

      I’m glad that there isn’t a law againt being an asshole because EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US has had his or her moments.

      This guy should be prosecuted for invasion of privacy and bullying. End of story.

      Dec 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Peter
      Peter

      Evan’s legal analysis of the case is based on what a “lawyer friend” told him. Except that the lawyer friend doesn’t know the first thing about the case. Ravi is NOT charged with causing the suicide of Clementi. He is charged with invasion of privacy and obstruction of justice. That’s it. The suicide has nothing to do with it. As he clearly did invade Clementi’s privacy and admitted as much to the police, and as he undeniably deleted tweets when he learned the police were investigating, this is an easy case to prove, not a difficult one.

      Evan, this post is worthy of Dan Villarreal. If you don’t have knowledge in a given area and you are unwilling to talk with someone who has that knowledge, then don’t do the story.

      Dec 9, 2011 at 5:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @kylew: said… “@Josh Childress: Agree with you here Josh. If the average straight showed one fraction the intoleance towards us that you guys show them, we’d be a lot deeper water. ”
      __________________-

      What an idiotic lie.

      Sorry but until gays are trying to pass laws kicking straight people out of the military for being straight, or trying to outlaw straights from adopting or marry I don’t want to hear bullshit like this.

      Nice try troll.

      Dec 9, 2011 at 6:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MEJ
      MEJ

      Why doe Queerty keep moderating my comments? Seriously.

      Dec 9, 2011 at 6:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville
      Mike in Asheville

      Well the tarnished silver lining would be an end to posting that smug shitty grinned creep’s photograph.

      Dec 9, 2011 at 6:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gerry
      Gerry

      You forgot the part where the state agreed to help him fight any deportation orders as part of the plea bargain.

      Dec 9, 2011 at 6:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 5 · Peter wrote, “Evan’s legal analysis of the case is based on what a “lawyer friend” told him. Except that the lawyer friend doesn’t know the first thing about the case. Ravi is NOT charged with causing the suicide of Clementi. He is charged with invasion of privacy and obstruction of justice.”

      He may have a reasonable defense, at least on the obstruction of justice charge. If he deleted twitter comments, he’d claim that he knew the server kept those and that he just didn’t want random people to be reading what seemed to be crass statements after the suicide became national news. If he deleted things from his email, he could argue (if true for his email program) that deleting an email doesn’t remove it – it just marks it so the subject won’t be displayed in a list of messages, and that you have to explicitly expunge deleted messages to get rid of them. My email software, for example, works that way and there is a command for displaying deleted messages. If that turns out to be Ravi’s defense, you can guess that he’s been spending his time learning about how these programs actually work.

      He could also claim that he had no intention of broadcasting images from a web cam
      and was only going to show images of himself with wild-eyed expressions as he
      presumably watched the web cam, and that any statement that implied more
      was just misleading advertising. If he told you that in person, you wouldn’t
      believe him, but it only has to be convincing enough to generate reasonable doubt.

      Dec 9, 2011 at 8:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      Dharun Ravi is going to jail. Plain and simple.

      Dec 9, 2011 at 9:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh Childress
      Josh Childress

      Queerty: Stop moderating comments you don’t agree with! God, I hate this website.

      Dec 9, 2011 at 10:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert in NYC
      Robert in NYC

      Being gay is an “alternative lifestyle”? Really, since when do we get to choose? Do straights and what does that make their orientation then? Of course, the right wing religious nutjobs will say their orientation is “normal” (god’s plan). Their orientation is never described or referred to as a lifestyle, although religious belief is since nobody is born that way.

      Dec 10, 2011 at 10:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Not a lawyer
      Not a lawyer

      @Peter: Thank you, Peter. Apparently, that “lawyer friend” didn’t bother acquainting himself/herself with the charges in the case. Wow. A lawyer running his/her mouth without any facts. Never seen that before.

      Dec 10, 2011 at 11:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Peter
      Peter [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @B: The point isn’t that he doesn’t have some kind of defense or that he can’t make claims in his own behalf. The point is that he is not charged with the death of Clementi, a fact that Evan didn’t know and didn’t bother to spend 5 minutes on google to learn. Not only is this unprofessional, it shows disrespect to Clementi. Also, to be guilty of obstruction of justice doesn’t require that evidence be permanently destroyed or an investigation thwarted. If deleting the tweets merely delayed or hindered the investigation, that would be enough. And he admitted that he targeted just those tweets that dealt with Clementi for deletion, leaving all the others alone.

      Evan, if you want to redeem yourself, pick up the phone and call the Middlesex DA. Ask him why his current plea deal offer and his prior plea deal with Molly Wei use the term “alternative lifestyles” to refer to gay people. This is a term from the early 1970s and is used today only by anti-gay bigots who want to create the impression that being gay is is a choice. It is bizarre to see it in this context. No other media have picked upon this and it is a good story for Queerty.

      Dec 10, 2011 at 11:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 15 · Peter wrote “Also, to be guilty of obstruction of justice doesn’t require that evidence be permanently destroyed or an investigation thwarted. If deleting the tweets merely delayed or hindered the investigation, that would be enough. And he admitted that he targeted just those tweets that dealt with Clementi for deletion, leaving all the others alone.”

      The point I was making is that deleting the tweets, or deleting email (depending on the email program [technical term, is “user agent”]) is not necessarily obstruction of justice. My email program, for example, has an option called “hide deleted messages”. If I don’t use this option, the deleted messages can be read without going to any special effort. Also, I can see all the messages, deleted or not, by just opening the email file with a text editor – until the deleted messages are expunged. Deleting “tweets” is similar – all the D.A. has to do is to send Twitter a subpoena for all of the defendants tweets.

      Ravi can claim that he did not impede the investigation if the emails were readily accessible using standard user-agent options and if the D.A. could get the information from twitter by sending a subpeona. On the other hand, if Ravi reformatted his hard drive and threw all his backups into a fire, then obstruction of justice could be a reasonable charge. His explanation could be as simple as, “I was upset about the suicide and didn’t want to see any reminders of it, and didn’t want my friends to see those either, but I didn’t destroy anything the D.A. needed and I didn’t even know that the D.A. wanted it when I deleted messages or twitter posts, which simply prevented random members of the public from seeing them and did not destroy any permanent copies.”

      We’ll see if he tries to use that sort of explanation in court.

      Dec 11, 2011 at 2:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MKe
      MKe

      I don’t think he should be raked over the coals but if he doesn’t take this offer he should get some jail time. This is reasonable considering what he may have gotten. If he’s the one that’s gonna take it to a jury because he won’t lift a finger, that jury may not be sympathetic.

      Dec 11, 2011 at 3:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Re No. 17 · MKe : “If he’s the one that’s gonna take it to a jury because he won’t lift a finger, that jury may not be sympathetic.”

      My guess is that his attorney will argue that no evidence regarding the suicide should be presented in court because it might prejudice the jury and is not relevant to the charges of invasion of privacy and obstruction of justice. So, I’m not sure if sympathy will come into a decision if his lawyer can convince the judge. Even if you think it is a weak argument, there’s no reason for his lawyer not to run it past the judge, which would happen before a trial begins.

      Dec 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      I hope he gets prison time and then gets deported.

      Dec 11, 2011 at 3:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • macmantoo
      macmantoo

      The thing everyone seems to forget here is he is more likely to get a free ride with a jury than he is to be convicted. The make up of the jury will be at least mostly straights who could care less about what he did. And this is what his attorney is hoping for.

      Dec 11, 2011 at 5:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DaDude
      DaDude

      Seems like a money grab on the part of the attorneys. A trial means milking that family out of even more money. With Wei testifying AGAINST him, how does Ravi expect to walk? He might get off on the bias charge, but invasion of privacy and witness/evidence tampering are pretty much locked up. Deport the slug.

      Dec 16, 2011 at 3:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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