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Ravi starts prison term in case linked to suicide of Rutgers roommate

Updated at 10:55 p.m. ET: With prosecutors appealing for a longer sentence, former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi on Thursday arrived at a sheriff's department to begin a 30-day sentence in a case that exploded into the headlines when his roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide.

Indian-born Ravi, 20, was found guilty last March of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy.

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 a New Jersey state court Wednesday to announce his decision to report to jail. NBCNewYork.com reported that Ravi will likely get a 10-day credit for good behavior, and may serve only 20 days in jail. He was also sentenced to 300 hours of community service and $11,000 in fines.

Ravi apologized in a written statement that was presented at his sentencing, but Clementi's parents rejected his apology as a "public relations piece," according to NBCNewYork.com.

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.

Ravi could have remained free during thee prosecutors' appeal. But during a hearing Wednesday, he agreed to waive his protection from double jeopardy. He is now not allowed to argue that he's already served his time if prosecutors prevail on their appeal and he receives a longer sentence.

Ravi's lawyer, Joseph Benedict, said he's still appealing the conviction altogether. 

Assistant prosecutor Julia McClure told the court 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 Thursday.

"It's the only way I can go on with my life," he said in the statement -- which also included his first apology in the case.

Ravi apologizes for spying on roommate
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Former Rutgers student Dharun Ravi sentenced

"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 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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