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Dharun Ravi Begins Serving Jail Sentence In Rutgers Webcam Spy Case

Dharun Ravi reacts to his sentence - New Brunswick, NJ - May 21, 2012 (credit: CBS2)

Dharun Ravi reacts to his sentence – New Brunswick, NJ – May 21, 2012 (credit: CBS 2)

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A former Rutgers University student convicted of using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate began serving his 30-day jail sentence Thursday.

Dharun Ravi, 20, arrived at the sheriff’s department in New Brunswick shortly after 12:30 p.m. for processing before heading to jail. He was dressed in a T-shirt, khakis and sneakers. His father followed him into the sheriff’s department.

WCBS 880′s Levon Putney reports

Appearing before a judge on Wednesday, Ravi formally put on the record his decision to report to jail to begin serving his 30-day jail sentence and waive his right not to be punished twice for the same crime.

Ravi was convicted in March on 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, for using his webcam to spy on his roommate, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi in September of 2010. Days later, Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.

Meanwhile, Clementi’s parents said the apology issued by Ravi earlier this week was “no apology at all” but rather a “public relations piece.”

Joseph and Jane Clementi say Ravi had a chance to express remorse during sentencing but instead issued a press release days later. The Clementis also say they are troubled by the judge’s decision not to impose jail time for the bias crimes for which Ravi was convicted.

In addition to his 30-day jail sentence, Ravi was sentenced to three years of probation, 300 hours of community service and ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 towards a program to help victims of bias crimes.

Ravi’s lawyer Joseph Benedict said he’s still appealing the conviction altogether.

It’s not clear whether Ravi will serve the full 30 days. In most cases, New Jersey county jail inmates with 30-day sentences automatically have them reduced by 10 days for good behavior.

While in jail, Ravi will be able to join other inmates for an hour of recreation each day, but he won’t be allowed any Internet time and the only books he’ll be able to read will be from the jail library.

Ravi also won’t be allowed to see any visitors for at least one week. After that, inmates are allowed one visit via video chat per week and in-person visits are only allowed on the last Friday of every month.

Because Ravi’s sentence is less than a year, it decreases the chances that federal immigration authorities will seek to have him deported to India, where he was born and remains a citizen.

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