Ravi case: Jurors say webcam spying was hate crime

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2012, 13:15 [IST]
 
Jurors say webcam spying was hate crime

New York, Mar 17: The jurors in India-born student Dharun Ravi's case, who came out with a guilty verdict that may jail him for 10 years and even lead to his deportation, say his repeated attempts to watch and gossip about his gay roommate's sexual encounter convinced them that he committed hate crime.

The jurors - seven women and five men - had spent over two days deliberating on the 15 charges that Ravi faced, including bias intimidation, invasion of privacy, tampering with evidence and hindering apprehension.

The jury eventually found 20-year-old Ravi, a former Rutgers University student, guilty on all 15 counts, raising his chances of even being deported to India.

His attorney Steven Altman said Ravi is not a citizen but has a green card and his parents are not US citizens either.

Experts said legal permanent residents can face possible deportation if convicted either of a crime that immigration authorities consider an "aggravated felony," or those considered "crimes of moral turpitude."

Defining hate crime charges against Ravi was initially so difficult for the jury that it had taken the judge more than an hour simply to answer its questions on the bias intimidation charges.

One of the jurors Bruno Ferreira said the jury had deliberated the longest on the bias intimidation charge, which were the most difficult to agree upon.

Talking to reporters as he stepped out of the court, Ferreira said he ultimately agreed that Ravi was guilty of bias intimidation because he had sent multiple messages on Twitter and texts to his friends about his roommate Tyler Clementi's sexual encounter.

"They were being done twice, not just one day," he said.

PTI


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