Deric Lostutter pled not guilty to four felony counts of hacking on Wednesday, with three covered under the Reagan-era Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
It’s the same law used to go after Reddit founder Aaron Swartz for downloading academic papers. Swartz later committed suicide at age 26.
Lostutter and his defense team accused the judge of seeking to make an example of the white hat activist.
He hacked the high school’s football sports fan site Roll Red Roll and found evidence of the 2012 rape and subsequent boasting by the perpetrators who shared footage with friends.
“You get 16 years for forcibly entering your way into a computer, but you get one year for forcibly entering your way into a woman,” Lostutter said. “I think that’s the precedent the government is setting here.”
At a time when the US is facing increased criticism over its failure to adequately sentence rapists, particularly in light of the release of Stanford rapist Brock Turner, Lostutter’s potential punishment is at odds with more violent and damaging crimes.
Two of the Steubenville rapists, Trent Mays and Malik Richmond, were sentenced to serve time in juvenile detention for rape and kidnapping.
— RT America (@RT_America) June 28, 2016
Serving just one year, Richmond was back to playing on the football team a few months after his release.
Mays received a longer, two-year sentence for distributing nude images of a minor.
The self-proclaimed “rape crew” dragged the unconscious victim from party to party and later shared videos and photographs of the assaults.
— NewsAuthority (@NewsAuthorities) October 31, 2015
In the videos retrieved by Anonymous, athlete Michael Nodianos described the unconscious teenager as being “deader than Trayvon Martin,” as well as comparing her to JFK, OJ’s wife, and dead toddler Caylee Anthony.
Nodianos also tweeted, “Some people deserve to be peed on,” on the night of the rape.
“She is so raped,” he said. “Her p*** is dryer than the sun right now.”
When the young woman tried to press charges, she was dismissed and her character attacked by the football-crazy town.
Local blogger Alexandria Goddard was able to take screen grabs of the athlete’s tweets soon after the rape occurred.
Anonymous then disclosed more evidence and the disturbing video.
The Roll Red Roll site was hacked with a video from Anonymous which showed evidence of the rape and threatened to disclose details of the school faculty members and parents involved in covering up the rape if those who were responsible didn’t come forward and apologize.
The video named a number of the footballers involved in the assault.
Lostutter accused the town of a cover-up between the football team and law enforcement.
One of the homes where the girl was assaulted allegedly belonged to the prosecutor, who has a son on both the football and wrestling teams and had allegedly pressured the victim and her family not to press charges.
Following the conviction of Richmond and Mays, a grand jury indicted four school officials over the scandal, with half of the charges related to another rape of a 14-year-old girl in April 2012.
In the Nodianos video, he referred to an earlier rape at “Palooza,” a nickname for the football coach’s home. The 14-year-old girl said she drank from a red cup and became so intoxicated she couldn’t stop the assault.
In 2015, the school’s technology director William Rhinaman pled guilty to deleting files related to the rape, Refinery 29 reports.
Lostutter’s previous hackings have included attacks on Hunter Moore, the man behind revenge porn, and the hate group the Westboro Baptist Church.
His trial is scheduled to start on November 8.