Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images.
Dharun Ravi is sorry.
The former Rutgers student who will begin a 30-day jail sentence later this week issued his first public apology Tuesday for using a webcam to spy on his freshman roommate, Tyler Clementi, kissing a man. Three days after the incident, Clementi committed suicide by jumping to his death from the George Washington Bridge.
"I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices that I made on Sept. 19, 2010, and Sept. 21, 2010," Ravi, 20, said in a statement issued through a lawyer. "My behavior 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 apologize to everyone affected by those choices."
Ravi had previously drawn criticism for withholding an apology even after he was convicted of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy in March. "I heard this jury say 'guilty' 288 times—24 questions, 12 jurors—that’s the multiplication," Judge Glenn Berman said at the sentencing hearing. "And I haven’t heard you apologize once."
For some LGBT activists and Clementi supporters, Ravi's belated apology remained too little, too late. "My God, couldn’t Dharun Ravi have made this statement himself either during the trial or at sentencing?" Steven Goldstein, chairman of gay-rights group Garden State Equality, told the Star-Ledger. "Because of he had, even those of us who believe he should get more than 30 days in prison probably would have modified our positions."