An Indian-born former university student who was convicted of bias intimidation for using a webcam to see his roommate kissing another man was released from jail on Tuesday after serving 20 days of a 30-day sentence.
Dharun Ravi, 20, reported to jail in New Jersey on May 31, though he could have remained free while his case is appealed. He did not stop to speak with the media when he was released.
Ravi was convicted earlier this year of 15 criminal counts in a case that drew national attention in September 2010, when roommate Tyler Clementi committed suicide days after the webcam spying. Ravi was not charged with the death, but Clementi’s story has been held up as an example of what can go wrong when young gays are bullied.
The 30 days in jail was far less than the 10-year prison sentence Ravi could have received. He still faces three years of probation, plus more than $11,000 in fines and assessments, 300 hours of community service and counselling.
Like other inmates, Ravi automatically was given five days off for good behaviour and five for working.
Federal immigration authorities said on Monday that Ravi will not be deported to his native India. He lived there until he was five years old and remains a citizen, though he is in the United States legally.
Foreign citizens convicted of crimes in the U.S. can face deportation usually after they complete their prison or jail terms.
Last year, Ravi rejected a plea deal under which prosecutors would have sought to protect him from being deported.
Ravi’s supporters, particularly from the Indian community, argued for leniency in part to make it less likely that he would be deported.