NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - The father of Tyler Clementi told a judge on Monday that the former Rutgers student who was convicted earlier this year of bias intimidation for using a webcam to spy on his son deserves punishment.
The statements came during sentencing of Dharun Ravi.
Joe Clementi said Ravi saw his son as undeserving of basic human decency, and that he saw him as below him because he was gay.
He said Ravi "still does not get it" and has no remorse.
Tyler Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after learning of the webcam.
Ravi's lawyer, Steven Altman, said his client has been "demonized by the gay community" and the case "is being tried and is being treated as if it's a murder case."
Ravi's parents were also due to address the judge before sentencing.
Both families sat through nearly every minute of Ravi's four-week-long trial, where he was convicted in March of 15 criminal charges including invasion of privacy and tampering with evidence. And both appeared in public forums last week just before Ravi is to be sentenced for his deeds. The two most serious counts - bias intimidation - could get him up to 10 years in prison, though prosecutors have said the maximum penalty is not necessary.
A sentence of more than a year would also increase the likelihood that federal immigration authorities will try to deport Ravi to India, where he was born and remains a citizen, though he has lived most of his life in New Jersey.
The case has turned both Clementi and Ravi, who for just three weeks shared a Rutgers University dorm room they were randomly assigned, into widely known symbols. Clementi is seen as an example of what can happen to young gays who are too often bullied even as acceptance of gays has increased. Ravi has been portrayed as a young man victimized by overzealous prosecutors who reacted to a tragedy by piling on charges. In their choices of where to appear, each couple has supported the symbolic perception of its own son.
Ravi's once wild hair that had been cropped close for the trial was longer again for the sentencing. Always thin, he looked gaunt.
The courtroom filled entirely with family and supporters of Ravi and Clementi.
The media scrum was large, with more than 100 journalists in the courthouse. Two courtrooms and two conference rooms were set aside for journalists; and even those overflow rooms were on the verge of overflowing.
As the court proceedings began, Judge Glenn Berman held up an inches-thick folder of letters he'd received from the public about the case and pointed to a box containing petitions that were sent to President Barack Obama and Gov. Christ Christie requesting a pardon. He reminded the parties that because it's a state matter, the president has no say in it.
Ravi's lawyer, Steven Altman read part of a pre-sentence report in which a probation officer suggested Ravi be sentenced to community service, not prison.
"This officer appreciates the media scrutiny," the officer wrote. "His name will forever be linked to the unfortunate death of Tyler Clementi and/or cyberbullying."
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