Originally published on Advocate.com May 05 2012 1:22 PM ET
Friends of Dharun Ravi, the Rutgers University student convicted of webcam spying in the high-profile suicide case of Tyler Clementi, have urged the court for probation, not jail time, in sentencing.
In letters filed to the court Friday, friends portrayed Ravi as a good person who had no malicious intent in the recording and broadcasting of an intimate encounter between Clementi and another man. Clementi committed suicide in 2010 by jumping off the George Washington Bridge following the incident.
In March, Ravi was found guilty of multiple charges including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation.
The letters, many from high school classmates, are part of the ongoing defense campaign to characterize Ravi's actions as a bad prank gone awry. In Friday's filing, defense lawyers portray Ravi as an ostracized young man who withered under the blazing glare of the news media. ...
"Immediately upon arrest, Dharun became the face of cyber-bullying and homophobia in the media," the defense lawyers wrote in documents submitted to Superior Court in Middlesex County. "As an eighteen year old who has become the subject of scholarly articles, television specials and countless newspaper and magazine articles, he withdrew from his friends and anyone who wanted to keep in contact with him."
Sentencing in the case is scheduled for May 21.