TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A former Rutgers University student convicted of using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate will not be deported to his native India, federal immigration authorities said Monday.
Twenty-year-old Dharun Ravi is due to be released from the Middlesex County Jail on Tuesday after serving 20 days of a 30-day jail sentence.
He was convicted this year of 15 criminal counts, including bias intimidation and invasion of privacy, for using a webcam to see his roommate kissing another man in September 2010. Days later, the roommate, Tyler Clementi, threw himself to his death off the George Washington Bridge.
The issue of deportation has hung over the case.
Ravi was born in India, lived there until he was 5 years old and remains a citizen, though he is in the United States legally.
Foreign citizens convicted of crimes here 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 could have received up to 10 years in prison. His supporters argued for leniency in part to make it less likely that he would be deported. Experts say the proceedings are usually initiated against those who are incarcerated for a year or more.
Last month, the second man in the streamed video — identified in court only by the initials M.B. — said through a lawyer that he was willing to write a letter on Ravi's behalf opposing deportation.
In a statement released Monday, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement spokesman Ross Feinstein said Ravi would not face deportation because of his criminal record.
The webcam case is his first brush with the law.
He voluntarily reported to jail on May 31 though he could have remained free while the case is on appeal.
Prosecutors have asked an appeals court to give him a longer sentence. Ravi is arguing to have his conviction overturned.
His jail time is reduced by 10 days because of a state law that allows shorter sentences for good behavior and working.
Follow Mulvihill at http://www.twitter.com/geoffmulvihill.