Ravi apologizes in Rutgers spying case

May 30, 2012 at 2:41 PM   |   Comments

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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., May 30 (UPI) -- Dharun Ravi says he is prepared for jail after his conviction for spying on his Rutgers University roommate during an intimate encounter with a man.

Ravi, convicted in March of bias intimidation, invasion of privacy and tampering, issued his first clear apology Tuesday for invading the privacy of roommate Tyler Clementi, who killed himself days after the 2010 incident.

Appearing in State Superior Court in New Brunswick, N.J., Wednesday morning, Ravi agreed to turn himself in to the Middlesex County Jail Thursday to begin serving his 30-day jail sentence, his attorney said. Prosecutors are appealing the light sentence, but Ravi's attorney, Steven Altman, says his client wants to start serving his sentence now, The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger reported.

"It's his decision," Altman said. "He wanted to get it over with."

At the hearing Wednesday, Judge Glenn Berman explained his sentence, saying, "I'll stand on my belief that his conduct was wrong, but I don't believe it was hate-motivated."

Ravi could be released in as little as 20 days with credit for good behavior.

"I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices that I made on September 19, 2010, and September 21, 2010," Ravi's statement said. "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."

The case attracted wide interest as an example of cyber-bullying and of the pressures faced by young gay people, and was regarded as a landmark case in the legal community, since invasion of privacy is rarely tied to bias intimidation issues, the newspaper noted.

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