Topsy, fucking turvy.
Deric Lostutter — the Anonymous-affiliated hacker who helped expose the violent rape of an underage girl in Steubenville, Ohio — pled not guilty Wednesday to four felony counts of hacking. He now faces a federal trial and up to 16 years in prison; the rapists he exposed now walk free. Lostutter's one week trial will begin on November 8th.
Three years after Lostutter helped expose the scandal in Steubenville — in which a group of high school football players recorded themselves sexually assaulting an unconscious girl — the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Kentucky is going after him for his part in the hacking that exposed the rapists. The Reagan-era law being used to prosecute Lostutter is the same one that was used to go after celebrated internet activist Aaron Swartz in 2012, who committed suicide while under indictment.
Yet Ekeland can't make sense of the disparity between Lostutter's actions and his being hit with the full force of a federal prosecution, especially given the comparatively . One of the students involved in the Steubenville rape was given a minimum sentence of one year while the other was given a minimum sentence of two years. Both have since been released.
"Why the DOJ is prosecuting people who participate in the exposure of rape culture in America is beyond me," Ekeland said. "Why is somebody facing more jail time for the innocuous hack of a high school football team's website that caused no monetary damage, as opposed to two rapists and a producer of child porn?"
The criminal justice system in the U.S. regularly fails to treat rape prosecutions, and victims, with the severity and seriousness they deserve. Less than a week before Lostutter's arraignment, Brock Turner was given early release after serving three months in jail. Turner was a Stanford athlete who was sentenced to only six months for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. And in February, a student from Indiana in spent just one single day in prison after pleading guilty to violent rape.
"You get 16 years for forcibly entering your way into a computer, but you get 1 year for forcibly entering your way into a woman," Lostutter said. "I think that's the precedent the government is setting here."