"Hacker Who Helped Expose Steubenville Could Get More Prison Time Than The 2 Convicted Rapists."
Deric Lostutter, also known as KYAnonymous, helped expose the now-infamous Steubenville, Ohio teen rape case and cover-up. Without his work, we don't know if Jane Doe would have ever received justice.
Lostutter tracked down photos and tweets from teenagers who witnessed the rape and joked about it. He then posted a video threatening to out those who joked about the rape unless action was taken.
Until Lostutter exposed those photos, tweets, and posted his video, authorities in Steubenville had been slow-walking the prosecution. His posts caused a national spotlight to focus on the case and created enough public outcry that authorities were forced to act.
Now, he's facing ten years in prison for his role in "hacking" and uncovering this awful crime--while the actual rapists will serve no more than two years.
This is flat out wrong and outrage is building ever since news of this story broke on Friday. The U.S. Attorney and the Department of Justice could decide to drop the charges, reduce them, or take prison time off the table. Public pressure is what brought justice in Steubenville in the first place, and public pressure can help end this witch-hunt against Lostutter. Can you sign the petition telling the U.S. Attorney and the Department of Justice that Lostutter is a hero, not a criminal?
Tell the U.S. Attorney and the Department of Justice to drop all charges against Deric Lostutter.
Lostutter is a 26-year-old internet security consultant. He lives on a farm in Eastern Kentucky, where he likes to fish and ride his motorcycle. He read about the Steubenville teen rape case in the New York Times, but didn't think he could do anything about it until a friend sent him the tweets and photos by teens who witnessed the attack. He told Mother Jones that he decided to post them online because "I was always raised to stick up for people who are getting bullied."
By then, it was December of 2012--four months after the assault--and two boys had been charged with the rape but there was no trial for months, and the police were dragging their feet on the investigation. Witnesses weren't talking and evidence had been erased.
The tweets and photos exposed by Lostutter and other hackers he worked with sparked public outrage, including petitions signed by nearly 150,000 UltraViolet members demanding justice for the survivor. National media descended on the town and started asking tough questions of local authorities who were trying to sweep the whole incident under the rug.
Now, Lostutter tells Mother Jones that Steubenville officials are behind the FBI investigation. "They want to make an example of me, saying, 'You don't [expletive] come after us. Don't question us'" he told the magazine. Town officials have resented the attention on the case since the beginning, but the truth is that without the public pressure that Lostutter helped create, the two rapists might have gotten away with it.
It's wrong that a rapist can serve no more than two years for a brutal assault on a 15-year-old girl, but the hacker who helped uncover the crime is facing up to ten years in federal prison. We should be applauding Deric Lostutter, of not sending him to jail. Outrage is already building over this case, and if we all speak out now, we can pressure U.S. Attorney and the Department of Justice to drop the case against Lostutter. Can you sign the petition?
Sign the petition.
Thanks for speaking out.
--Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Malinda and Karin, the UltraViolet team
1. Hacker Who Helped Expose Steubenville Could Get More Prison Time Than The 2 Convicted Rapists, Business Insider, June 7, 2013
2. Exclusive: Leader of Anonymous Steubenville Op on Being Raided by the FBI, Mother Jones, June 6, 2013
4. Rape Case Unfolds on Web and Splits City, New York Times, December 16, 2012
5. Exclusive: Leader of Anonymous Steubenville Op on Being Raided by the FBI, Mother Jones, June 6, 2013.
7. Rape Case Unfolds on Web and Splits City, New York Times, December 16, 2012
8. Exclusive: Leader of Anonymous Steubenville Op on Being Raided by the FBI, Mother Jones, June 6, 2013
Online outrage over Ohio rape case prompts city website, CNN, January 5, 2013
9. Exclusive: Leader of Anonymous Steubenville Op on Being Raided by the FBI, Mother Jones, June 6, 2013