Ohio Rapist Released after 10 Months in Prison; Activist who Exposed Him Faces 10 Years
In today’s American criminal justice system, computer hacking to expose the cover-up of an underage girl’s rape by local high school football stars is a worse crime than the rape itself. Just ask Ma’Lik Richmond or Deric Lostutter.
Ma’Lik Richmond, then-16, is one of two teens convicted in the August 2012 rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio (Trent Mays, also 16, got two years). Richmond was released last week after 10 months of incarceration, but because of a nearly successful cover-up orchestrated by school and athletic officials, he and Mays almost avoided responsibility entirely.
Upon his release, Richmond’s family released a statement calling “the past sixteen months [since the rape]…extremely challenging for Ma’Lik” who “endured hardness beyond imagination” and yet “has persevered…and made the most of yet another unfortunate set of circumstances in his life.”
The lack of an apology to the victim led her attorney, Robert Fitzsimmons, to complain to Channel 7 WTRF that, “it is disheartening that this convicted rapist’s press release does not make a single reference to the victim and her family—whom he and his co-defendant scarred for life.…Rape is about victims, not defendants. Obviously, the people writing his press release have yet to learn this important lesson.”
Deric Lostutter, 26, is the computer hacker who blew the lid off the cover-up by focusing the attention of the online collective known as “Anonymous” on the rape case. Previously, he had initiated an Anonymous “Op” against the infamously homophobic Westboro Baptist Church. Subsequent efforts on the rape unearthed explosive evidence regarding the crime, including a 12-minute video taken the night of the rape in which former Steubenville jock Michael Nodianos joked about it, referring to the victim as the “dead girl,” and saying “they raped her harder than that cop raped Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction” and they “peed on her.”
Because of his role in frustrating the cover-up, the FBI in April raided Lostutter’s home in Kentucky and arrested him. He now faces up to ten years in prison for his role in obtaining tweets and social media posts that exposed details of the rape, as well as threatening action against the Steubenville football players and school officials who covered up the crime.
Ironically, at the end of November two of those school officials were charged, including high school wrestling coach Seth Fluharty, 26, charged with failing to report child abuse, and Matthew Bellardine, 26, a former assistant football coach, who was charged with allowing under-age drinking and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Meanwhile, Superintendent Michael McVey, 50, and elementary school principal Lynnett Gorman, 40, were indicted on felony charges of tampering with evidence and obstructing justice and misdemeanor charges of failure to report child abuse and making false statements—but those charges related to yet another rape, this one of a 14-year-old girl committed by members of Steubenville’s baseball team.
To Learn More:
Steubenville Rapist Released After 10 Months, While Activist Who Exposed Him Faces 10 Year Sentence (by Jodie Gummow, Alternet)
Anonymous Vs. Steubenville. Online Vigilante Deric Lostutter Helped Expose the Cover-Up in the Steubenville Rape Case. Now He's Facing more Jail Time than the Convicted Rapists. (by David Kushner, Rolling Stone)
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