Dharun Ravi Will Not Appeal 30-Day Jail Sentence, Apologizes for 'Immature Choices'
Ravi plans to waive double jeopardy claims to begin serving jail term on May 31; says his actions were "thoughtless" and "childish" but maintains they weren't borne out of hate or bigotry.
The man convicted in the Rutgers spycam case that garnered international headlines said he would accept the terms of Judge Glenn Berman's sentence and apologized for his "thoughtless" actions.
"It’s the only way I can go on with my life," Dharun Ravi said in the statement released through his attorney's office Tuesday afternoon.
The 20-year-old native of Plainsboro said he will surrender himself to the Middlesex County Correctional Facility on May 31 to begin his 30-day jail sentence, which includes three years of probation as well as 300 hours of community service.
Ravi was convicted of 15 charges in March related to spying on his gay Rutgers roommate Tyler Clementi and his lover, known only as "M.B." Clementi committed suicide shortly after the separate spying incidents, in which Ravi encouraged friends to attend "viewing parties".
The death of Clementi, 18, of Ridgewood, drew international attention to bullying, suicide and LGBT issues.
"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 in the statement sent to media. "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."
Ravi could have faced up to 10 years having been convicted on felony charges, including bias intimidation.
In rendering his decision, New Jersey Superior Court Justice Glenn Berman said that he felt the state's bias intimidation laws were designed to punish those convicted of violent crimes, not the "colossally insensitive" actions of Ravi, whom he chastised as having "never apologized" for what he had done.
The sentence handed down by Berman on May 21 was automatically stayed once prosecutors filed their appeal with the appellate court last week.
A representative from law firm Benedict and Altman, which represents Ravi, said that court rules, however, "permit Dharun Ravi to elect to serve the sentence despite the appeal if he waives any double jeopardy claim." That appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office did not immediately respond to questions Tuesday afternoon.
Ravi could still be deported by federal authorities to his native India after serving his sentence.
Paul Mainardi, the attorney representing the Clementi family, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.