Dharun Ravi, the student who shared a room with gay teenager Tyler Clementi – who took his own life in 2010 after Ravi broadcast webcam footage of Clementi having sex with a man over the net – has apologised for his crime.
In one of the highest profile cases of cyber bullying, Clementi jumped from New York City’s George Washington Bridge just a day after Ravi (pictured above) tweeted to encourage his contacts to watch his roommate get intimate. The young man’s last Facebook status confirmed the tragedy: “Jumping off the gw bridge sorry.”
Almost two years after the incident, and following a lengthy trial, Ravi, now aged 20, has been charged with 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation. He was sentenced to three years’ probation, 300 hours of community service, a fine of more than US $10,000, and 30 days in prison.
Following the verdict, he released this statement: “I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices that I made on Sept. 19, 2010, and Sept. 21, 2010.
“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.”
The tragic loss of Tyler lives on in the minds of Clementi’s family. Back in February, his older brother James Clementi, who is also gay, opened up about his memories of Tyler (pictured below) in heartbreaking open letters.
“When I imagined your future, I saw the world at your feet. You were supposed to show me up, do it better than I could. I wanted that for you,” James wrote.
“You are blood, my connection to the past, and my hope for the future. You are beauty, fleeting and marvelous. I know there was pain, and I’m sorry for that, but you were joy, too. Your voice, your smile, tiny hands clinging to mine. I will never let go.”