Dharun Ravi could face 10 years in prison and be deported to his native India when he is sentenced Monday for spying on and intimidating his gay Rutgers University roommate, who then killed himself by jumping off New York's George Washington Bridge.
The September 2010 death of Tyler Clementi, and Ravi's trial earlier this year, thrust the issue of cyberbullying and prejudices against homosexuals into the national spotlight.
Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman, plunged to his death in the Hudson River after learning that Ravi had secretly spied on his sexual encounter with another man.
In the months that followed, President Barack Obama released a videotaped message condemning bullying, while New Jersey legislators enacted stricter laws to protect against it in schools.
Ravi, who was studying on a visa at the New Jersey university at the time of the incident, turned down a plea deal offered by Middlesex County prosecutors.
Under the terms of that offer, he would have avoided jail time in exchange for undergoing counseling, doing 600 hours of community service and disposing any information that could identify the man who appeared in the Web video with Clementi.
Prosecutors also offered to help him avoid deportation, though they said they could not guarantee it.
That set the stage for the trial, during which prosecutors argued that Ravi tried to embarrass Clementi because he was gay and that his actions were motivated by a desire to intimidate the Ridgewood, New Jersey, native expressly because of his sexual orientation.FULL STORY