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Ex-Rutgers Student Offers First 'Clear Apology' For Spying On Roommate

"I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices" and apologize "to everyone affected by those choices." With those words, Dharun Ravi has offered what's being called his first "clear apology" for setting up a webcam to spy on his gay roommate in September 2010.

That spying shortly preceded roommate Tyler Clementi's suicide.

Ravi, in a case that generated headlines across the nation, was not charged in connection with Clementi's death — but was convicted of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy. Earlier this month, a New Jersey judge sentenced him to 30 days in jail and three years of probation. Ravi is set to begin his jail sentence on Thursday, even as prosecutors prepare to appeal the sentence as being too lenient.

Today's Star-Ledger writes of Ravi's apology that "they are words his detractors have been clamoring to hear. Words the parents of his victim have been demanding."

In the statement, Ravi says "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."

The words go further than Ravi went in March when he told the Star-Ledger he was "very sorry about Tyler," but did not apologize for his actions.

Tuesday's statement did not, however, go far enough in the eyes of Steven Goldstein, chairman of the gay-rights group Garden State Equality. He told the Star-Ledger that it sounded like it had been written by a lawyer and that it is notable that Ravi did not refer to Clementi directly.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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