Dharun Ravi was scheduled to report Thursday to the Middlesex County Prison in North Brunswick, N.J., to serve his 30-day sentence and, days before his sentence began, he issued his long-awaited apology.
Ravi was convicted of invasion of privacy and bias crimes for using his webcam to spy on Clementi, his Rutgers University roommate, in a tryst with another man. Ravi invited friends to watch the video in September 2010 and unsuccessfully attempted to broadcast a feed live over his Twitter account days later.
Clementi committed suicide a few days after the incident.
A judge last month sentenced Ravi to 30 days, along with community service and fines, far under the possible 10 years of prison. Judge Glenn Berman said Ravi’s age, lack of a criminal record and the unlikelihood that he would commit such crimes again factored into his decision.
At a hearing last Wednesday where Ravi was informed of his rights, Berman reiterated that he believed Ravi’s decisions were wrong but said he didn’t believe they were “hate-motivated.”
The prosecution team appealed Berman’s sentence, which automatically would have delayed Ravi’s prison sentence. But Ravi asked the court to allow him to begin his sentence on the scheduled May 31 date.
“I decided to accept and hopefully complete the sentence as soon as possible,” Ravi said in a statement released Tuesday by his attorney. “It’s the only way I can go on with my life.”
Because of county sentencing rules, Ravi will get credit for good behavior and will be out in 20 days.
In his statement, Ravi also claimed some liability for his actions.
“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 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.”
During the victim-impact statements offered by the Clementi family prior to the sentencing, Clementi’s brother said he did not believe an apology offered by Ravi this long after the incident would be genuine.
Ravi must complete 300 hours of community service, which will begin as soon as he is released from prison, and he will begin repaying the more-than $11,000 in fines starting Aug. 1.
Jen Colletta can be reached at email@example.com.