Hate crime: Ravi begins prison term, as victim's family rejects apology

Dharun Ravi

Indian student Dharun Ravi on Friday began his 30-day sentence in a New Jersey jail, as the parents of his deceased Rutgers roommate rejected his apology as a "public relations piece".

20-year-old Ravi was sentenced by a US judge on hate crime charges for using a webcam to spy on his homosexual roommate Tyler Clementi who later committed suicide, terming his behavior "cold, calculated and methodically conceived."

The former Rutgers University student turned himself in at the New Jersey Sheriff's department yesterday where he was fingerprinted and photographed. He was then driven to the Middlesex County Jail, Sheriff Mildred Scott said.

Convicted in March of spying on Clementi while he kissed another man, Ravi had for the first time publicly apologized for his 'immature and insensitive" actions earlier this week.

Clementi's parents, however, rejected his apology as they expressed disappointment over the short prison sentence imposed on him by Judge Glenn Berman.

Clementi had committed suicide in September 2010, days after Ravi had used a webcam to watch him kissing another man.

"As to the so-called 'apology', it was, of course, no apology at all, but a public relations piece produced by Ravi's advisers only after Judge Berman scolded Ravi in open court for his failure to have expressed a word of remorse or apology," the Clementis said in a statement issued yesterday.

They said a sincere apology is "personal" and people convicted of crimes address the victims and their families in court.

"Ravi was given that opportunity but chose to say nothing. His press release did not mention Tyler or our family and it included no words of sincere remorse, compassion or responsibility for the pain he caused," they said.

Clementi's parents said while they had never sought a harsh punishment for Ravi, they are "troubled" by the Judge's failure to impose even a short jail sentence on the several charges of criminal invasion of privacy and bias crimes.

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