The student who was convicted of using his webcam to spy on his gay roommate during an intimate encounter with another man, and sentenced to 30 days imprisonment, has apologised for his actions for the first time.
Dharun Ravi, former student at Rutgers University in New Jersey, shared a room with 18-year old Tyler Clementi, who, a few days after the film, jumped to his death from George Washington Bridge. Mr Ravi was charged and found guilty on 15 different counts, including bias intimidation, tampering evidence and hindering apprehension.
Today, in a statement released through his lawyer, Mr Ravi apologised for what he called his ‘thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid, and childish choices.’
His sentencing has been divisive, with prosecutors and some anti-bullying activists considering it too lenient, whereas others, including many gay rights activists stating it struck the right balance in what seemed a trial by media. Mr Ravi’s lawyer and parents said he felt demonised by the gay community and hostile media reaction.
In addition to the jail term, Mr Ravi will serve a three-year probationary period, and 300 hours of community service. He is also ordered to pay $10,000 to a state-licensed community organisation that helps victims of crimes due to prejudice, and complete a training programme on cyber-bullying and ‘alternative lifestyles.’