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Dharun Ravi likely to be released today

By Yoshita Singh
June 19, 2012 10:02 IST
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A former Rutgers University student, convicted for spying on his gay roommate, will not be deported to India after being released from a New Jersey prison, where he is serving a 30-day sentence.

Dharun Ravi, 20, is likely to be released from the Middlesex County Jail on Tuesday after serving 20 days of his month-long jail term.

In accordance with New Jersey state rules, Ravi earned five days credit for good behaviour and a similar number for working in jail.

The India-born student had faced deportation to India after he was convicted in March this year on 15 counts of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy for using a webcam to spy on his roommate Tyler Clementi's sexual encounter with another man in September 2010.

Clementi had committed suicide days later by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after he found out Ravi had spied on him and had told his other friends about his date with another man.

Ravi, who moved to America with his parents when he was five years old, is a permanent resident of the US but not a citizen.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Ravi would not be deported to India after taking into account his record.

"Based on a review of Ravi's criminal record, ICE is not initiating removal proceedings at this time," said ICE's Office of Public Affairs.

The agency added it is ordinarily up to an immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review to decide whether or not to order a person removed from the US.

The judge in Ravi's case had recommended against deportation at sentencing.

The agency added that individuals who committed certain crimes like aggravated felony, domestic violence crime, drug or weapons offenses or crimes involving moral turpitude, could be removed from the United States.

Apart from his 30-day jail term, Ravi was sentenced to three years' probation, ordered to do 300 hours of community service and fined about $11,000.

He had faced up to 10 years in prison.

The prosecution has appealed his jail sentence, saying it is too lenient and has sought that he be jailed for five years.

Ravi had surrendered to the Middlesex County Sheriff's office on May 31 after he had agreed to begin serving his jail term instead of waiting for an appeals court to rule on the prosecution's request for a lengthy prison term.

Clementi's suicide had sparked a nationwide debate on cyber bullying and treatment of young gays and lesbians.

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