Remember Steubenville High School Rape Case?
In 2012, Steubenville (Ohio) high school’s football team players gang-raped an unconscious teenage girl from West Virginia and took photographs of the sexual assault.
In December 2012, a member of the hacker collective Anonymous hacked into the Steubenville High School football fan website Roll Red Roll and leaked some evidence of the rape, including a video taken and shared by the crime’s perpetrators in which they joked about the sexual assault.
The hack exposed information about the gang rape by two football team players — Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, both 16 at the time of the crime — who were eventually convicted and sentenced in 2013 to 2 and one years behind bars, respectively, but have since been released.
In 2013, the FBI raided the home of Deric Lostutter — Anonymous member, also known online as "KYAnonymous" — and seized two laptops, flash drives, CD’s, an external hard-drive, cell phones and an XBox, and arrested him.
Lostutter, a 29-year-old man from Winchester, pleaded guilty in federal court in Kentucky on Wednesday to one count of conspiring to illegally break into the computers to draw attention to the Steubenville rape case without authorization and one count of lying to an FBI agent.
What’s weird? The hacker is facing a longer prison term than the rapists.
Lostutter said he hacked into the site with just an intention to expose information about the gang rape. He said in court Wednesday, "We wanted to stand up for a girl who had no voice, and we went about it the wrong way," according to WTVQ.
However, prosecutors alleged that Lostutter participated in an online campaign against the school in late 2012 under the banner of Anonymous. They also said Lostutter used the online alias KYAnonymous to conspire online with other hacktivists in December 2012.
According to prosecutors, the goal was to intimidate and harass an individual who ran Roll Red Roll, the website dedicated to the football team. Lostutter gained unauthorized access to the target’s website and leaked its owner’s personal emails online.
There’s no doubt that the operation against the school website helped bring the Steubenville rape case into the national spotlight. But Lostutter was questioned over his participation after the campaign got off the ground.
"Lostutter filmed a video wearing a mask and wrote a manifesto, which was both posted on the website to harass and intimidate people, and to gain publicity for Lostutter and [Noah] McHugh’s online identities," said the protectors.
"Specifically, the messages threatened to reveal personal identifying information of Steubenville High School students, and made false claims that the administrator of the fan website was involved in child pornography and directed a ‘rape crew.’"
Lostutter faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. He is scheduled to appear before the judge for sentencing on March 8, 2017. His defense did not comment on the plea agreement.
Noah McHugh, co-conspirator of Lostutter, was pleaded guilty in September to hacking the Steubenville website. He is slated to be sentenced in December.