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Dharun Ravi says he's "sorry about Tyler," not biased against gays

Dharun Ravi, Tyler Clementi's former roommate
Dharun Ravi Pool,AP Photo/Mark R. Sullivan, File

(CBS/AP) PLAINSBORO, N.J. - Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student convicted last week of invasion of privacy and a hate crime for spying on his gay roommate, said in an interview that he was insensitive but not biased.

Pictures: Tyler Clementi
Pictures: Rutgers Spycam Trial

"I didn't act out of hate and I wasn't uncomfortable with Tyler being gay," Ravi told The Star-Ledger of Newark in his first interview since the case began.

On Sept. 19, 2010, Ravi used a webcam to view part of Clementi's dorm-room liaison with another man, and then tweeted: "I saw him making out with a dude. Yay." Two days later, when Clementi was going to have his guest over again, Ravi told friends they could watch a live streaming webcast of the encounter. That webcast never happened.

The next night, Sept. 22, Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey and New York City.

A jury convicted Ravi of all 15 counts he faced, including a charge of bias intimidation that required jurors to find he acted out of malice against gays - or that Clementi reasonably believed he did.

The jury found on all four bias counts that Clementi reasonably believed he was targeted because of his sexual orientation. They jurors also found that Ravi was knowingly intimidating him on three counts and purposefully on two.

The maximum sentence for the two most serious bias intimidation convictions is 10 years in prison.

Before the case came to trial, prosecutors offered Ravi a plea deal that would have called for no jail time.

"I'm never going to regret not taking the plea," he said. "If I took the plea, I would have had to testify that I did what I did to intimidate Tyler and that would be a lie. I won't ever get up there and tell the world I hated Tyler because he was gay, or tell the world I was trying to hurt or intimidate him because it's not true."

Ravi, who is to be sentenced May 21, said he's sad about his roommate's suicide.

"I'm very sorry about Tyler," he said. "I have parents and a little brother, and I can only try to imagine how they feel. But I want the Clementis to know I had no problem with their son. I didn't hate Tyler and I knew he was OK with me. I wanted to talk to his parents, but I was afraid. I didn't know what to say."

Complete coverage of Tyler Clementi and the Dharun Ravi trial on Crimesider

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