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June 17th, 2013
07:55 PM ET

Internet activist who helped expose Steubenville rape may face jail time

A drunk 16-year-old girl at a party was raped by two high school football players. It was an outrageous case that tarnished the name of the town where it occurred - Steubenville, Ohio.

Especially after images of the attack and social media comments about it went viral.

Many first learned of the rape after a man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask - the international symbol of the hacker group Anonymous - got involved.

He threatened revenge on the football team and the town.

He targeted not only the two teens convicted of rape in March and sentenced to juvenile detention – Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond - but also the other players and students.

Hackers compromised the team’s fan website. Internet activists posted players' tweets.  Anonymous demanded the players apologize to the victim and if they didn't, their personal information would be shared with the world. It’s a promise they kept. They also released personal information about local law enforcement officials and coaches.

When the apology did not come, the masked man published a video from a former student, who did not actually witness the assault.

The video showed students talking and joking about the sexual assault. One of them laughed about the attack and said, "She is so raped right now."

The video went viral.

Two-thousand people rallied on the steps of the Stuebenville courthouse demanding justice in what became an outpouring of support not just for the Stuebenville victim, but the cultural problem of rape.

The man behind the mask is Deric Lostutter, formerly known online by the handle 'KY Anonymous,' a 26-year-old corporate cybersecurity consultant and aspiring rapper who performs under the name "Shadow.”

Lostutter outed himself on the website Gawker after his Kentucky home was raided by the FBI, which was searching for evidence that he and his group "Knight Sec" hacked into the team's booster page.

He now says he has nothing to do with the hackings and that he only posted the videos.

Federal authorities tell CNN they are still investigating the case involving Lostutter.

Some media outlets like "Think Progress" are outraged that if convicted of hacking, Lostutter could potentially face more jail time than the rapists.

Not everyone thinks the Anonymous community universally acted heroically. False accusations have defamed innocent people, propelled wild and insane conspiracy theories, and in the view of some in law enforcement complicated the investigation.

The two now-convicted rapists were arrested within a week of the attack last August, but Lostutter did not get involved in the case until December. He said he jumped in because he wanted the case to receive more media attention.

"My specialty within Anonymous was what I referred to as 'weaponizing the media,'" Lostutter told CNN. "There was a lot of grassroots media movements going, and it was picking up speed, but it was also squashed by ... either the media ignoring them or just not giving them a shot."

"I felt it necessary to 'weaponize the media,' [so] that this girl would get justice, and she's thanked us many times," said Lostutter.

Check out our full interview with Lostutter, who says his fourth amendment rights were violated when the FBI raided his house, in the video above.

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