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Dharun Ravi on Tyler Clementi: ‘I wasn’t the one who caused him to jump’

Clementi's parents say 'the jury got it right'
Friday, March 23, 2012
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Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student who was convicted last week of invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, a hate crime, is speaking out for the first time since his college roommate, Tyler Clementi, jumped to his death in September 2010.

Following Clementi’s suicide, it was quickly learned that Ravi had set-up a webcam to spy on Clementi’s intimate encounter with another man.

ABC NEWS

Dharun Ravi

In interviews this week with the New Jersey Star-Ledger and ABC News, Ravi acknowledged that he acted inappropriately by spying on Clementi, but said it was not out of hate toward gays.

“Even though I wasn’t the one who caused him to jump off the bridge, I did do things wrong and I was stupid about a lot of stuff,” Ravi said in an interview scheduled to air on ABC’s “20/20″ tonight.

Ravi said he was concerned about Clementi’s guest, a 30-year-old man who Clementi met on a gay dating website, identified during the trial only as M.B. — Ravi said he thought M.B. looked “shady” to him.

Ravi also said that he has come to believe that Clementi’s suicide wasn’t caused by the webcam incident a few days earlier, and he takes “comfort” in that:

“The more and more I found out, it would be kind of obnoxious of me to think that I could have this profound effect on him,” Ravi told ABC News’ “20/20″ in an interview scheduled to air today.

“After all this time and reading his conversations and how and what he was doing before, I really don’t think he cared at all. I feel like I was an insignificant part to his life. That’s giving me comfort now.”

“I didn’t act out of hate and I wasn’t uncomfortable with Tyler being gay,” Ravi told the Star-Ledger, and said he will continue to try and prove he did not commit a bias crime.

“I didn’t bully Tyler Clementi,” Ravi said.

Following is an excerpt of the ABC News interview; the full interview airs Friday on “20/20″ at 10 p.m. ET.

Clementi’s parents said Friday that the jury got it right last week by convicting Ravi of hate crimes and other offenses.

“They reached their decision based on the facts shown by the evidence,” Tyler Clementi’s father, Joseph Clementi, said in a written statement. “At the conclusion of the trial, the defense’s explanation of what happened was simply not believable.”

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