John O'Boyle/The Star-Ledger
Dharun Ravi is sworn in during a hearing at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick, N.J., where he appeared to request he start his 30-day sentence.
After apologizing for using a webcam to spy on his male roommate kissing another man days before the roommate killed himself, former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi told a New Jersey state court he would report to jail Thursday to serve his 30-day sentence.
Indian-born Ravi, 20, was found guilty of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy in a case that exploded into the headlines when Ravi's roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide.
Clementi, 18, jumped off the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 22, 2010, after finding out that Ravi saw him kissing another man and appeared to encourage others to watch his romantic encounters through a camera on his computer.
Ravi appeared in state court Wednesday to formally announce his decision to report to jail on Thursday. NBCNewYork.com reported Ravi will likely get a 10-day credit for good behavior, and may serve only 20 days in jail.
Prosecutors are appealing Ravi's sentence, which they believe is too lenient, but they said they are not requesting the 10-year maximum sentence he faced.
Joseph Benedict, Ravi's lawyer, said Ravi plans to do community service when he's out of jail, reported NBCNewYork.com. He was sentenced to 300 hours of community service.
Assistant prosecutor Julia McClure told the court on Wednesday that she felt statutory requirements warranted a five-year jail term. But Judge Glenn Berman stood by his 30-day sentence.
"I can't find it in me to sentence this gentleman to a state prison that houses people convicted of offenses such as murder, armed robbery and rape," Berman said. "I know he's an adult, but I think the interests of justice demand I deviate from the guidelines."
In a statement issued Tuesday through a lawyer, Ravi said he would begin serving his jail term on Thursday even though the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office is appealing the sentence, The Star-Ledger of Newark reported.
"It's the only way I can go on with my life," he said in the statement.
Tuesday's statement was the first time Ravi apologized.
"I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices that I made on September 19, 2010 and September 21, 2010," Ravi's statement read. "My behavior and actions, which at no time were motivated by hate, bigotry, prejudice or desire to hurt, humiliate or embarrass anyone, were nonetheless the wrong choices and decisions."
When Ravi was sentenced on May 21, Judge Berman chastised him for not apologizing for his actions.
"I heard this jury say 'guilty' 288 times," Berman said, referring to all the sub-parts of the charges Ravi faced repeated 12 times, once for each juror. "And I haven't heard you apologize once."
During the court proceeding, Ravi, who expressed remorse in March in an interview with the New Jersey Star-Ledger, chose not to address the judge, though he cried as his mother pleaded for mercy from the judge.
Because Ravi's sentence is under a year, it decreases chances that immigration authorities will try to have him deported to India, where he remains a citizen.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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