The director of the M.I.T. Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has issued a statement acknowledging his ties to Jeffrey Epstein and apologizing to friends and colleagues for “bringing such a person into our network.” Joichi Ito, who is also a member of The New York Times Company’s board, disclosed his affiliation with the accused sex trafficker in a statement published Thursday in which he stressed that he “was never involved in, never heard him talk about, and never saw any evidence of the horrific acts that he was accused of.” Ito, an M.I.T. professor who teaches about media arts and sciences, said he’d met Epstein in 2013 and interacted with him for “fundraising efforts.” “Regrettably, over the years, the Lab has received money through some of the foundations that he controlled. I knew about these gifts and these funds were received with my permission,” he said. Vowing to return the funds that Epstein donated to his own investment funds, Ito said he would match the donations Epstein gave to the Media Lab and send the money to non-profits that help survivors of trafficking.