Rutgers student Dharun Ravi released an apologetic letter today admitting that spying on his roommate’s gay tryst was “insensitive” and “stupid.”
Ravi also said he will surrender and begin his 30-day prison sentence on Thursday, despite an ongoing appeal for a longer prison sentence by the prosecution.
Ravi’s attorney, Steven Altman, released a statement from the 21-year-old, who last week was sentenced to the prison term, three years probation, 300 hours of community service, and a fine of more than $10,000. He was convicted of spying and hate crimes against his former freshmen dorm roommate Tyler Clementi and a man known only as “M.B.” with whom Clementi had sexual encounters in September 2010.
The Middlesex, N.J., jury found Ravi guilty of using a webcam to spy on one sexual encounter and then using social media and conversation to spread the word about Clementi’s sexuality. Clementi killed himself by jumping off New York’s George Washington Bridge just days after he discovered that Ravi had seen him on the date with M.B.
Prosecutors are appealing the sentencing decision in order to pursue a longer prison sentence, but Ravi writes in the letter that he will turn himself in Thursday to “hopefully complete the sentence as soon as possible. It’s the only way I can go on with my life. ”
During sentencing, Clementi’s parents read tearful statements condemning Ravi for never having shown “a lack of remorse” for spying on Clementi. Judge Glenn Berman, who oversaw the trial, also scolded Ravi during sentencing.
“I heard this jury say, ‘guilty’ 288 times–24 questions, 12 jurors. That’s the multiplication,” Berman said. “I haven’t heard you apologize once.”
In his newly-released statement, however, Ravi claimed that he “accept(s) responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid, and childish choices that I made on Sept. 19, 20120, and Sept. 21, 2010.”
Ravi’s statement did not address the Clementi family. Instead, he states, “I apologize to everyone affected by those choices.”
He also maintained that his actions were not motivated by hate or bigotry.
Calls to the Clementis and M.B. were not immediately returned.