LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A Virginia man who pleaded guilty to helping hack an online account to draw attention to a 2012 high school rape case in Ohio has been sentenced to eight months in prison.
Noah McHugh, 26, was sentenced on Monday in federal court in Lexington, Kentucky, after pleading guilty to one count of computer fraud. McHugh had admitted helping Deric Lostutter, known online as “KYAnonymous”,” access fan website for Steubenville High School athletics. Lostutter pleaded guilty in November and faces up to 10 years in prison.
Lostutter and McHugh, who is from Alexandria, Virginia, admitted to posting a video to the fan site with Lostutter in a mask speaking about the rape case.
The hack drew additional media coverage to the rape charges against two teenage football players from the high school. Prosecutors said the hack also harassed and intimidated the administrator of the website and drew attention to Lostutter’s online persona.
The football players were convicted in 2013 of raping a West Virginia girl at a party.
According to court records, McHugh was able to hack into the website administrator’s email account, and then into the website by requesting a new password to the website.
In a sentencing document that sought to spare McHugh from prison, McHugh says his actions were “misguided attempts to help a rape victim without adequately considering the consequences.”
Court records said McHugh began cooperating with federal prosecutors in April 2013 and he testified against Lostutter during a grand jury hearing.