Rutgers Webcam Defendant Dharun Ravi: 'I Was Stupid'

Friday, March 23, 2012

The former Rutgers student convicted of using a web cam to spy on his roommate during an intimate encounter with a man said he was “stupid” when he spied on Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide days after the incident.

In his first broadcast interview since he was convicted on 15 charges including a hate crime, Dharun Ravi told ABC News he never considered Clementi’s feelings in the matter.

“Looking back, I was very self-absorbed of the whole thing,” Ravi said during the interview. “It was just about what I was thinking, how I was reacting to everything, It was never, what if Tyler finds out, how is he going to feel about it? I was 18. I was stupid. I wouldn't think about my actions more than a minute in the future.”

Ravi says he did not try to intimidate or bully Clementi, and that he harbors no ill will toward gay people.

Ravi also claims that the way he was portrayed in the media and during the trial is not an accurate reflection of reality.

The 20-year-old former Rutgers students faces up to 10 years in prison and possible deportation to his native India. He's scheduled to be sentenced on May 21st.

The unedited interview will run on 20/20 Friday at 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, in a written statement released Friday, Clementi's father, Joseph Clementi, said  the jury got it right.

"They reached their decision based on the facts shown by the evidence," Tyler Clementi's father, Joseph Clementi, said in a written statement. "At the conclusion of the trial, the defense's explanation of what happened was simply not believable."He said the defense's account of Ravi's actions, including the assertion that Ravi wasn't trying to intimidate his son, was "simply not believable."

The family didn't say what punishment would be appropriate.

Meanwhile, the other man in the live streaming video - identified in court only by the initials M.B. - said Ravi, deserves prison time for his actions.


Comments [8]

LJ from Manhattan

A freshman college dorm is school property it is not a private home or private room and is not protected with the same privacy. IT is not an apartment. And students are supposed to conduct themselves within a framework of being in a shared semi public space..
I certainly don't want 40+ transients running in and out of my child's room to have affairs with a fellow student, while my child is trying to make good on all the money I am spending on his eduction. I am not sure what your purposes were for being in school..

Mar. 25 2012 12:59 PM
Ben Boer from NJ

LJ and Mark, I've got a question, Clementi asked if he could have some private time in the dorm and Ravi said yes... Is having sex the only possible reason he could have asked for that privacy? Could Ravi have known that it was, in fact, a sexual encounter without violating the privacy he had promised Clementi?

Also, if you don't want your son to be faced with this kind of thing you better move him from a dorm to an off campus apartment... preferably in a building full of 40+ year old tenants, because I can all but guarantee he's is regularly faced with "unsavory" behavior like this.

Mar. 23 2012 10:37 PM
AlessandraRef from USA

Suppose Ravi thought watching a fat kid having sex was funny. He puts the webcam. What's his motive? Does he want the kid to feel afraid or intimidated of him? No. He's just find it ridiculous. He's a jerk, he's invading privacy, but he is not intimidating anyone, and more importantly, what you seem to ignore is that he has no INTENTION of intimidating the fat kid.

Is this a "bias intimidation" case? No. First problem: the blatant "unequal before the law" status of people according to these stupid "hate" crime laws. Fat kids are unequal before the law because they aren't named as a special category.

Suppose Ravi puts a webcam to watch the president of Rutgers have adulterous sex with the cleaning lady. He thinks it funny. Shows it to his friends. The whole campus thinks its hilarious. Is he trying to intimidate the president? No. Did he have any intent to intimidate the president? No. Is this a "bias intimidation" case? No.

Suppose Ravi puts a webcam to watch a homosexual roommate having sex (which is not this case, because in my opinion kissing is not sex). But just to make all three examples the same here, we're talking sex. Ravi thinks its funny. Is he trying to intimidate the homosexual roommate? No. Did he have any intent to intimidate the homosexual guy? No. Is this a "bias intimidation" case? According to this insane law, yes.

That's a lie.

This law is absurd.

Exactly what did Ravi do different in these three cases? Nothing!

Exactly what was different about his motive or intent in these three cases? Nothing!

In none of these cases did he intimidate someone nor did he have the intent to intimidate. Yet there is a law that says he can be convicted of having had the intent to intimidate someone when he didn't.

That's why I put "intent to murder" in my example. If we had such a crazy law, a person's lack of intent to murder someone would be completely disregarded and they would be convicted anyways. Because this law says that the real intent, the truth, is irrelevant. The person is going to be convicted even if they are innocent of any such intent.

Ravi's lack of intent to intimidate was recognized by the jury, wasn't it? But the law says reality is irrelevant. Even though he had no such motive, and thus innocent of such an intent, he must be convicted.

This is atrocious.

Mar. 23 2012 05:47 PM
clive betters

in this new world order,stupidity will get you ten. this is bloody insane.

Mar. 23 2012 05:04 PM
Jean M from Manhattan

"There is a line beyond which stupidity becomes evil. When you hurt other people because you can't be bothered to even try to imagine how they might experience your actions, stupidity becomes evil."

I find that this applies to Clementi with a greater validity than Ravi. for exactly the same reasons as was pointed out by the 1st two comments.
Why Ravi, a young freshman all but a few months out of high school should be subjected to and tolerate Clementi's odd sexual obsessions in Ravi's own dorm room is a point of view that i find disturbing. If no one objects the evil of Clementi's actions as defined by the third comment, then let me join in.

Mar. 23 2012 04:31 PM

There is a line beyond which stupidity becomes evil. When you hurt other people because you can't be bothered to even try to imagine how they might experience your actions, stupidity becomes evil.

Dharun Ravi is of above-average intelligence. His "stupidity" is ethical. He was eminently capable of respecting others' boundaries. He just didn't bother.

Invasion of privacy. Tampering with evidence. Tampering with witnesses. Bias intimidaiton.


Mar. 23 2012 02:33 PM

I agree. At first I thought Ravi was a bad guy but as this coverage has dragged on I've lost any sympathy for Clementi. He seemed like a really self-absorbed person for not even two weeks into the semester already be sleeping around with people off the internet even when he can see his roommate is uncomfortable with it. I mean maybe Ravi was posting "insensitive" stuff on twitter as a way of "beating around the bush" because he didn't want to be confrontational and tell him to stop it. Then to kill yourself over it, sorry but that's actually a self-indulgent thing to do. If I can't use my dorm like a sleazy motel then I don't even want to live! Sheesh.

Also the other factor making me start to support Ravi is related to what Foucault talks about at the beginning of Discipline And Punish. At first everyone comes out to see the evil doer get executed but as he's being beaten, burned, slashed and ripped in half suddenly the spectators start to admire his will against the horror so the criminal becomes the hero and the torturers and their affiliates become villains. Nothing more unsavory than a prosecutor trying to "make his bones" with a big case that might catapult him to national stage.

Mar. 23 2012 01:12 PM
LJ from Manhattan

Ravi was an 18 year old faced with a creepy room mate that insisted on subjecting him to the spectacle and indignity of having to retreat from his own dorm room so Clementi could, instead of studying and being engaged in proper activities with other classmates, do the exact opposite and indulge himself in sex with random strangers in the semi public space of a college dorm room. When those facts are realized for the seriousness of what they are, Clementi's actions are disgusting no matter the sex of the offenders involved. I would not tolerate my son being faced with that. I send my son to school to learn. I pay for his dorm room to use it to study and live with oherr students, not to have to experience this type of shocking, selfish, and irresponsible behavior on the part of Clementi, who abused Ravi's privacy and possibly safety in his lurid conduct with non university affiliated strangers. An 18 year old is essentially in many ways a "grown up" 14 year old. Ravi's reflection on his own actions now that he is 20 is an example of the maturity and immaturity that every parent is aware of in their children as they grow from 10 to 14 to 18 to their twenties. Ravi should not be the whipping boy for a societies attempts to compensate for perceived prejudices that in this case bear no merit or relevance to the actual issues at hand.

Mar. 23 2012 12:42 PM

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