Dharun Ravi: Gay Rights Activists 'Going Overboard' With Tyler Clementi Case

03/23/2012 06:20 pm ET

Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi says he "wasn't the one who caused" Tyler Clementi to jump off a bridge in his first televised interview after he was convicted of bias intimidation.

"I feel like I was an insignificant part to his life," Ravi told ABC News in an interview. "That's giving me comfort now."

Ravi was convicted of invasion of privacy along with bias intimidation of Clementi, his former roommate, for spying on him with a webcam on Sept. 19, 2010, and again on Sept. 21. Ravi was able to view images of Clementi having an intimate gay encounter in their dorm room. Clementi killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 22, after discovering Ravi had spied on him.

"He didn't even care about this," Ravi said. "He had bigger problems in his life."

Clementi left behind a note, but its contents have not been made public and that makes Ravi feel a little better.

"The fact that we weren't allowed to read [the note], that they said it didn't have anything to do with this," Ravi added, "that gave me comfort also because I figured if it has nothing to do with me … it must have been something else that was going on."

Ravi says it's frustrating that he'll never know if Clementi got the text he sent him the day he died. In the text, according to what was revealed in the trial, Ravi told Clementi he didn't have a problem with his sexuality.

Ravi reiterated to ABC that he does not "hate gay people," and said he doesn't believe Clementi committed suicide because of Ravi's actions. Ravi thinks Clementi had more issues going on beyond their roommate troubles and the webcam spying, and suggested focusing on this as a gay-rights issue is a mistake.

"The people that are fighting for gay rights," Ravi said, "they have a just cause. I think this kind of detracts from their cause. This is something people can point to and say, 'You guys are going overboard.' I think it's bad for them."

Ravi and Clementi were both freshmen at the time of the incident. Ravi didn't face charges for killing Clementi, but rather for intimidation that would have contributed to Clementi's suicide.

Ravi faces 10 years in prison and because he is in the U.S. on a green card, he could be deported.

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