Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student convicted earlier this year of using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate who later committed suicide, will turn himself in Thursday to begin serving a 30-day prison term.
In March, Ravi was convicted on charges of invasion of privacy, witness tampering, tampering of evidence, and bias intimidation — actions that prosecutors said led to the suicide of his college roommate, Tyler Clementi, who jumped to his death in September 2010.
And for the first time since Clementi’s suicide, Ravi issued an apology for his actions, and said his behavior was not motivated by anti-gay bias.
In a statement, Ravi said he decided to “accept and hopefully complete the sentence as soon as possible. It’s the only way I can go on with my life,” reported the New Jersey Star-Ledger.
“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,” he 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.”
Last week, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman sentenced Ravi to 30 days in the Middlesex County Adult Detention facility, three years probation including a requirement the Ravi complete 300 hours of community service, and attend a counseling program relative to cyber-bullying and alternate lifestyles.
During sentencing, Berman chastised Ravi for not apologizing for his actions previously.
“I heard this jury say guilty 288 times: 24 questions, 12 jurors, that’s the multiplication,” Berman said. “And I haven’t heard you apologize once.”
Nevertheless, Berman’s sentence departed substantially from state guidelines, which call for five to seven years in prison for second-degree crimes.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan’s office said the sentence was too lenient, and that they would appeal.
Ravi’s lawyers have said they expect to appeal the convictions entirely.
With good behavior, Ravi’s prison term could be shaved to as little as 20 days.