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Suspect in Rutgers Case Rejects Plea Deal

Friday, December 09, 2011

The former Rutgers University student accused of using a webcam to spy on his roommate's intimate encounter with another man has turned down a plea deal that would have kept him out of prison and sought to prevent his deportation.

Dharun Ravi's lawyer told a judge Friday that his client would proceed to trial, set for February 15.

The judge says the state offered a deal with no prison time that would include community service, probation and counseling. Ravi's attorney, Steven Altman, also says the state agreed to help Ravi if federal authorities sought to deport him. Ravi is in the U.S. legally, but is a citizen of India.

It's not clear what the charges were under the plea agreement.

The judge says he would accept a plea until jury summonses are sent out in January.

Ravi has pleaded not guilty to 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation. Altman says Ravi rejected the plea deal because he is innocent.

The alleged spying happened in September 2010, days before Ravi's roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide. The suicide touched off a national discussion about the bullying that young gays can face.

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