Dharun Ravi Trial: The Breakdown

PHOTO: Dharun Ravi waits for the judge to explain the law to the jury before they begin their deliberations during his trial at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick, N.J. on March 14, 2012.PlayJohn OBoyle/The Star-Ledger/AP Photo
WATCH Rutgers Verdict: Dharun Ravi Guilty in Webcam Case

Ravi Guilty on All 15 Counts, Including a Hate Crime

Dharun Ravi today was found guilty of all 15 counts against him, including invasion of privacy and anti-gay intimidation, a state law hate crime.

The hate crime is the most serious offense and carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, but convicts typically serve about two to four years in state prison for this.

Invasion of privacy carries up to five years, but convicts typically get probation and no prison time for this crime alone.

The judge will almost certainly sentence him to concurrent, or overlapping, prison terms so that in effect he'll only serve time for the most serious offense, rather than having his prison terms for all 15 crimes added together. So he's likely looking at several years in prison, possibly one to five.

Note: We initially heard some "not guilty" readings on the charges, but these pertained only to sub-counts and did not change the verdict. The jurors were given a list of questions, but only had to find him guilty on one point per count. So the "not guilty" sub-counts, which mostly pertained to alleged hate crimes against Clementi's lover "MB," didn't change his 15 count conviction.

Possible Deportation for Ravi

This felony conviction also means he could be deported to his native India, even though he has lived in the U.S. legally since he was young. There's a "high likelihood" of deportation after he serves his time, said legal expert John Fahy, because the bottom line is: any felony, you are getting deported. Immigration issues will be looked at after the sentencing.

What is a New Jersey Hate Crime?

In New Jersey, prosecutors can charge a hate crime if you target someone because they're gay or the victim reasonably believes he was targeted because he's gay.

The jurors were split on whether Ravi specifically targeted Clementi because he was gay, but found that Clementi reasonably believed he was being targeted for being gay, which increased his suffering. That was enough to convict.

Hate crime cases are hard to prove beyond doubt because you have to show the perp and victim's "state of mind" and motivation. That's also why hate crime laws are so controversial. You're punishing someone not just for what they've done, but for why they've done it and how they've made the victim feel by words and other non-criminal things.

Ravi's lawyer argued that Ravi was never motivated by anti-gay sentiment and that he was just being immature. A string of students testified that they never heard Ravi say anything negative about gays or about Clementi.

But students also said Ravi expressed concern about sharing a room with a gay man and in a Twitter post, Ravi wrote, "Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into Molly's room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay." All told, this was not a clear cut case of a hate crime, say legal experts, so it's fairly surprising that he was convicted.

Legally, the suicide is irrelevant, but practically speaking prosecutors probably would not have taken this case without the suicide, and almost certainly wouldn't have trumped it up to a hate crime if Clementi was not physically harmed. Ravi was never charged with causing the suicide.

Ravi Had Been Offered a Plea Deal

Before the trial Ravi turned down a plea deal that would have given him no jail time, no threat of deportation, and only probation and community service. Ravi rejected the offer because he reportedly refused to plead guilty to the bias charge. He reportedly felt that was unjust and unfair, so he went to trial on principal because of the hate crime counts.

Appeal?

He can appeal his conviction, although he's not likely to succeed on appeal since this was a finding of fact by a jury, which is hard to challenge.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 21.

BREAKDOWN OF THE COUNTS (Source: Newark Star Ledger)

COUNT 1 4th Degree Invasion of Privacy, related to Tyler Clementi:GUILTY 4th Degree Invasion of Privacy, related to Clementi's guest, M.B.: GUILTY (Observed Clementi/M.B. in sexual contact without their consent on Sept. 19) If Guilty, jury proceeds to count 2; if Not Guilty, jury skips count 2 and proceeds to count 3

COUNT 2 3rd Degree Bias Intimidation (For 4th Degree Invasion of Privacy charge on Sept. 19) • Invasion of Privacy with the purpose to intimidate Tyler Clementi because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED • Invasion of Privacy with the purpose to intimidate M.B. because of sexual orientation:ACQUITTED • Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause Tyler Clementi to be intimidated because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED • Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause M.B. to be intimidated because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED • Invasion of Privacy, under circumstances that caused Tyler Clementi to be intimidated, and considering the manner in which the offense was committed, Clementi reasonably believed that he was selected to be the target of the offense because of sexual orientation: GUILTY

COUNT 3 3rd Degree Invasion of Privacy, related to Tyler Clementi: GUILTY 3rd Degree Invasion of Privacy, related to M.B.: GUILTY (Activated webcam so other people could view Clementi/M.B. in sexual contact on Sept 19.) If Guilty, jury proceeds to count 4; if Not Guilty, jury skips count 4 and proceeds to count 5

COUNT 4 2nd Degree Bias Intimidation (For 3rd Degree Invasion of Privacy charge on Sept. 19) • Invasion of Privacy, with the purpose to intimidate Tyler Clementi because of sexual orientation:ACQUITTED • Invasion of Privacy, with the purpose to intimidate M.B. because of sexual orientation:ACQUITTED • Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause Tyler Clementi to be intimidated because of sexual orientation: GUILTY • Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause M.B. to be intimidated, because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED • Invasion of Privacy, under circumstances that caused Tyler Clementi to be intimidated, and considering the manner in which the offense was committed, Clementi reasonably believed that he was selected to be the target of the offense because of sexual orientation: GUILTY

COUNT 5 4th Degree Attempted Invasion of Privacy, related to Tyler Clementi: GUILTY 4th Degree Attempted Invasion of Privacy, related to M.B.: GUILTY (Tried to observe Clementi/M.B. in sexual contact without their consent on Sept. 21) If Guilty, jury proceeds to count 6; if Not Guilty, jury skips count 6 and proceeds to count 7

COUNT 6 3rd Degree Bias Intimidation (For 4th Degree Invasion of Privacy charge on Sept. 21) • Invasion of Privacy, with the purpose to intimidate Tyler Clementi because of sexual orientation:GUILTY • Invasion of Privacy, with the purpose to intimidate M.B. because of sexual orientation:ACQUITTED • Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause Tyler Clementi to be intimated because of sexual orientation: GUILTY • Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause M.B. to be intimidated because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED • Invasion of Privacy, under circumstances that caused Tyler Clementi to be intimidated, and considering the manner in which the offense was committed, Clementi reasonably believed that he was selected to be the target of the offense because of sexual orientation: GUILTY

COUNT 7 3rd Degree Attempted Invasion of Privacy, related to Tyler Clementi: GUILTY 3rd Degree Attempted Invasion of Privacy, related to M.B.: GUILTY (Tried to show Clementi/M.B. in sexual contact to other people on Sept. 21) If Guilty, jury proceeds to count 8; if Not Guilty, jury skips count 8 and proceeds to count 9

COUNT 8 2nd Degree Bias Intimidation (For 3rd Degree Attempted Invasion of Privacy charge on Sept. 21) • Invasion of Privacy, with the purpose to intimidate Tyler Clementi because of sexual orientation:GUILTY • Invasion of Privacy, with the purpose to intimidate M.B. because of sexual orientation:ACQUITTED • Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause Tyler Clementi to be intimidated because of sexual orientation: GUILTY • Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause M.B. to be intimidated because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED • Invasion of Privacy, under circumstances that caused Tyler Clementi to be intimidated, and considering the manner in which the offense was committed, Clementi reasonably believed that he was selected to be the target of the offense because of sexual orientation: GUILTY

COUNT 9 4th Degree Tampering with Physical Evidence: GUILTY (Deleted tweets relevant to police investigation)

COUNT 10 4th Degree Tampering with Physical Evidence: GUILTY (Wrote and posted a false tweet)

COUNT 11 3rd Degree Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution: GUILTY (Destroyed evidence relevant to investigation)

COUNT 12 3rd Degree Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution: GUILTY (Prevented a witness from providing testimony)

COUNT 13 3rd Degree Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution: GUILTY (Lied to police)

COUNT 14 3rd Degree Witness Tampering: GUILTY (Tried to influence what Molly Wei told police)

COUNT 15 4th Degree Tampering with Physical Evidence: GUILTY (Deleted text messages sent to and received from witnesses)