A 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.