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Dharun Ravi offers first public apology, heads to jail Thursday

Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers student who used a webcam to spy on his roommate Tyler Clementi kissing a man, apologized Tuesday for his "childish choices."

Tyler clementi 2011 12 12Enlarge
A memorial to Tyler Clementi at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., on Oct. 1, 2010. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers student who spied on his roommate Tyler Clementi, issued his first public apology on Tuesday, MSNBC reported

Clementi committed suicide off New York's George Washington bridge days after 20-year-old Ravi and others watched him kiss another man on a webcam Ravi had secretly installed in their shared dorm room at Rutgers. 

"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," Ravi said in a statement issued through a lawyer, according to MSNBC. "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."

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Ravi also said in his statement that he plans to report to the Middlesex County jail on Thursday, where he will serve the 30-day sentence given to him by Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman on May 21, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan has appealed the sentence, saying that it was not severe enough for Ravi’s conviction on multiple counts of bias intimidation, for which he faced up to 10 years in prison, according to the Star-Ledger.

Ravi could have remained free while the appeal was being filed, but chose to begin his jail time, saying that it is "the only way I can go on with my life," CBS News reported

Ravi had been criticized throughout the trial for failing to apologize for his actions, the Associated Press reported

"I heard this jury say `guilty' 288 times," Judge Berman said, referring to all the sub-parts of the charges Ravi faced repeated once for each of the 12 jurors, according to the AP. "And I haven't heard you apologize once."

Ravi told The Star-Ledger earlier in May that he didn't apologize during his sentencing because he thought no one would believe him. 

"Anything I say now would sound rehearsed and empty," he said.

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Steven Goldstein, chairman of the gay-rights group Garden State Equality, said that Ravi's apology came too little, too late. 

"My God, couldn’t Dharun Ravi have made this statement himself either during the trial or at sentencing? Because if he had, even those of us who believe he should get more than 30 days in prison probably would have modified our positions," Goldstein told the Star-Ledger. "We all have hearts. We simply wanted to see Dharun Ravi’s heart when it mattered most."

Ravi — who in addition to his jail time was sentenced to three years of probation, 300 hours of community service and fined $10,000 to donate to program to help victims of bias crimes — could be released after as little as 20 days for good behavior, CBS New York reported.

Because the 20-year-old's sentence is less than a year, it is unlikely that federal immigration authorities will seek to have him deported to India, where he was born and remains a citizen, according to CBS News. 

More from GlobalPost: Supreme Court to hear appeal on eavesdropping

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120530/dharun-ravi-offers-first-public-apology-tyler-clementi