PLAINSBORO, N.J., March 22 (UPI) -- Dharun Ravi, the young New Jersey man convicted of bias intimidation, admits he was stupid and thoughtless when he recorded his roommate kissing a man.
But the 20-year-old, in his first interview since the trial, told The Star-Ledger of Newark he did not act out of hatred for gays. His roommate at Rutgers University, Tyler Clementi, 19, of Ridgewood, N.J., jumped off the George Washington Bridge in 2010 after Ravi used a webcam to spy on him.
Ravi was not charged with causing Clementi's suicide, although it is possible he would never have faced charges without it.
"I didn't act out of hate and I wasn't uncomfortable with Tyler being gay," Ravi said.
Ravi, who is living with his parents in their home in Plainsboro, N.J., faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced May 21. But he said he does not regret turning down a plea deal that would have spared him a prison term.
"If I took the plea, I would have had to testify that I did what I did to intimidate Tyler and that would be a lie," Ravi said. "I won't ever get up there and tell the world I hated Tyler because he was gay, or tell the world I was trying to hurt or intimidate him because it's not true."
Ravi is an Indian citizen, although he has spent most of his life in the United States, and could be deported as a convicted felon. He said the guilty verdict has "energized" him and his family and lawyers.
After Clementi found out Ravi had used his Webcam to record him with another man, he asked for another roommate. At some point, Ravi sent him an apology by text message and e-mail.
"One of the most frustrating parts is that he never got my apology," Ravi said.