The parents of Tyler Clementi, the 18-year-old Rutgers student who killed himself in 2009, slammed Dharun Ravi’s apology for spying on Clementi’s gay date as “no apology at all, but a public relations piece,” in a statement released today.
Ravi released an official apology and statement on Tuesday to notify Judge Glen Berman that he would begin serving his 30-day sentence in jail today for charges of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy. Ravi was found guilty of spying on his roommate Clementi’s sexual tryst with another man, known as “M.B.” in the first weeks of their freshmen year. Ravi then sent Twitter messages and told friends about the encounter, and was found guilty of encouraging them to watch as Clementi and M.B. had a second date.
Clementi killed himself days later by jumping off of New York’s George Washington Bridge. His parents, who read tearful statements at Ravi’s sentencing earlier this month, said today that Berman did not sentence Ravi harshly enough for the crimes Ravi committed against Clementi.
“We have respect for Judge Berman and we appreciate the manner in which he presided over the criminal trial of Mr. Ravi. Although we do not question the sincerity of his feelings, and we have never sought harsh punishment, we are troubled by the judge’s failure to impose even a short jail sentence on the several charges of criminal invasion of Tyler’s privacy and bias crimes.”
“As to the so-called ‘apology,’” they continued, “it was, of course, no apology at all, but a public relations piece produced by Mr. Ravi’s advisors only after Judge Berman scolded Mr. Ravi in open court for his failure to have expressed a word of remorse or apology. A sincere apology is personal.”
Ravi reported to Middlesex County jail in New Jersey today. He will be required to do 300 hours of community service and remain on probation for three years after his jail sentence.