Some could say 26-year-old Deric Lostutter, the hacker who brought the Steubenville rape case to the public’s attention, was a hero. Others, would probably call him a hacker that deserves to serve up to 10 years in jail for his actions. According to Think Progress, Lostutter’s house was raided in April and he believes the FBI investigation was motivated by Steubenville officials. The hackers leaked significant social media evidence implicating the assailants — including tweets, Instagram photos, and a 12-minute video of Steubenville high schoolers joking about the rape
“They want to make an example of me, saying, ‘You don’t fucking come after us. Don’t question us,’ ” Lostutter explained. Those type of power dynamics played out over the course of the sexual assault trial in the tiny Ohio town, where many leaders in the community — like the high school football coach — played some role in covering up the rapists’ crimes because that was easier than disrupting the status quo.
The two teens who were convicted of rape, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, face up to two years in a juvenile detention facility. Because they’re both minors, neither of them will spend as much time behind bars as Lostutter potentially faces. Lostutter is preparing for a costly legal fight, and crowdsourcing outside donations to help him fund it.
The site soliciting donations points out that “Deric had the courage to stand up against rape.” And he says he would do it again, despite the potential consequences.
Anonymous continues to involve itself in exposing sexual crimes. After the intense harassment leveled against a Canadian teenager following her alleged gang rape led her to take her own life, Anonymous stepped in to demand justice, claiming their hackers were quickly able to identify the assailants.
If convicted of hacking-related crimes, Lostutter could face up to 10 years behind bars, which is far more than the one- and two-year sentences the rapists received. He thinks getting involved was worth it. “I’d do it again,” he says.