Pin It

Anonymous hacker facing more time than Steubenville rapists

Deric Lostutter has been charged with four felony counts of hacking, after exposing the convicted rapists three years ago

A hacker associated with Anonymous, who helped to expose those responsible for the rape of a girl in Steubenville, Ohio, faces up to 16 years in prison – more jail time than the convicted rapists.

Deric Lostutter, 29, has been charged with four counts of hacking, a felony charge. Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays were handed minimum sentences, and were released in a short space of time – Richmond after one year, and Mays after two years in juvenile detention.

Back in 2012, the two high school footballers sexually assaulted the girl, and the attack was shared on social media. Images of the 16-year-old girl being transported, undressed and sexually assault were posted online and spread over text message. When the case was brought to court, it was shown that staff at their high scool had attempted to cover up the crime.

It’s now been three years since Anonymous exposed the Steubenville case, leaking the images and video made by the men. Lostutter, who’s a member of hacking group KnightSec, has previously instigated attacks against revenge porn baron Hunter Moore, as well as the Westboro Baptist Church.

Speaking to MIC, Lostuttor said: “They want to make an example out of me, for exposing a coverup”.

Charges brought against Lostutter accuse him of hacking, a local football site which showed emails that illustrate the alleged coverup.

Lostutter has pleaded not guilty, but another hacker and activist, Noah McHugh, has pleaded guilty. His trial formally begins in November.

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act makes accessing “protected computers” a criminal offence to fight computer crime and identity theft, but has been criticised for its outdated approach towards the modern phenomenon of hacking, and basically anyone who uses the Internet regularly. 

The law to indict the hacker was also used in the case against Aaron Swartz, the Reddit cofounder, who had illegally downloaded academic papers. He committed suicide when he was 26-years-old.

“There's a mindset that you can solve these intractable problems by punishing your way out of them,” Tor Ekeland, Lostutter's attorney, told MIC. "It's the same mindset that led to the failed war on drugs and filled our prisons full of people who don't belong there. It's a perverse, puritanical mindset that's been in our country for a long time, that thinks we can solve our problems with punishment."