India-born student Dharun Ravi, convicted of spying on his gay roommate who later committed suicide, has publicly apologised for the first time for his “insensitive and immature” actions, saying he will surrender this week to begin his month-long jail term.
Ravi said he regretted his “stupid and childish” choices when he set up a webcam to view the sexual encounter of his roommate Tyler Clementi with another man on two occasions in September 2010 but said he did not act out of hatred.
“I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices... My behaviour and actions, which at no time were motivated by hate, bigotry, prejudice or desire to hurt, humiliate or embarrass anyone, were nonetheless the wrong choices and decisions.
“I apologise to everyone affected by those choices,” 20-year-old Ravi said in a statement released by his lawyer Steven Altman on Tuesday.
The apology by Ravi is the first time the former Rutgers University student has publicly said sorry for his actions.
Ravi had come under sharp criticism for not apologising during his trial for spying on Clementi and then inviting his other friends to view the sexual encounter through a webcam.
Judge Glenn Berman of the New Brunswick court, who had sentenced him, had admonished Ravi for not showing any remorse for his “colossal insensitivity”.
During sentencing, judge Berman had said, “I heard this jury say, ‘guilty’ 288 times — 24 questions, 12 jurors. That’s the multiplication. I haven’t heard you apologise once.”
Clementi’s parents too had said expressed sadness that Ravi did not seem apologetic for his actions that led their son to commit suicide.