He is also a rapper named ShadowRapz.
Yesterday, news broke that the FBI raided the home of Deric Lostutter in April. Deric is also known as KYAnonymous, a member of the hacktivist collective Anonymous who leaked a video showing an athlete from Steubenville bragging about the young men who raped an unconscious teenaged girl in Steubenville, Ohio in a disgustingly proud manner. The raid of Deric’s home was said to be in connection to the hacking of a site called RollRedRoll, a fan site for the Steubenville football team that got defaced by Anonymous during the controversy over the incident.
Even though another hacker, who goes by BatCat, has taken credit for the attack on RollRedRoll, the FBI obviously thinks that Deric is responsible or can at least provide more information on how it all went down. While he has not been officially indicted, he is expecting that to happen any day now. He could face a decade in prison if he's convicted on the charges of identify theft and conspiracy that will likely be brought against him, while the rapists he helped bring to justice will spend a fraction of that time behind bars. To find out more, I called Deric to chat with him about his current situation.
VICE: How did you end up with the YouTube video that helped convict the Steubenville rapists?
Deric Lostutter: Basically, an account was created by a resident of Steubenville who was like, "I have something for you but I don't want anything to come out about my identity," and I was like, "OK, what is it?" He was like, "It's a video of the players," and I was like, "Oh shit, give it to me," and he said, "All right, I don't want anything coming back to me," and I was like, "I don't even want to know your name, I'm just glad you didn't give it to somebody else," and he was like, "Yeah, I was afraid the cops would delete it, and it would disappear forever if I gave it to them," and I was like, "Well, I'll make sure that won't happen."
Were you receiving a lot of tips at the time?
I was receiving a whole lot of tips – some valid, some not valid.
What was the feedback like when you finally got that video out?
It was almost instantaneous. It went viral immediately. A lot of people were disgusted, including myself, with the video's content.
Right. How did the op proceed after that?
Rallies were the main focus. Raising enough media attention so that the FBI and the Department of Justice would get involved, as they ended up doing that. That was the ultimate goal.
Were you contacted by law enforcement at any point during the Steubenville operation?
In between the raid on your home and the arrests of the rapists, what have you been up to?
I'm a hip-hop artist, so I make music and music videos, and I've been working on my next album. Hanging out on my farm, fishing, hunting, drinking beer…
Can you walk me through the allegations you're facing now?
They are accusing me of being involved in the hack of RollRedRoll.com. They haven't officially indicted me. They haven't officially tried to press charges. They are sending a target letter, meaning they are going to try to indict me in front of a grand jury.
At what point did your identity become revealed as one of the Anons involved in Steubenville?
It was leaked online about three months prior to the raid.
You don't think the Steubenville operation has anything to do with the raid?
The search warrant the gave me said "the hack of RollRedRoll.com, all communications relating to Batcat," which is the guy who admitted sole responsibility for the hack in the article, which again brings up the question of why the hell was I raided if this guy is publicly online taking all credit for the hacks and was the only one who committed crimes. I put the screenshot on my Twitter earlier today and on my Facebook.
Why do you think you were raided if you had nothing to do with this?
When people think Steubenville, they think KY, they don't think Batcat. And that's my downfall because they want to make an example out of who the public recognises. They want to say, "Don't question our law enforcement, don't question our government." Just turn a blind eye. And that's not what this country was founded on – this country was founded on questioning our government and keeping it transparent.
But if you had nothing to do with this hack, are you worried at all?
I am worried. The sad fact about the government is that they can do whatever the hell they want. You just have to shut up and take it most of the time. But I have the best lawyer, so it eases my stress a little bit.
What kind of advice has your lawyer been giving you about this?
The FBI told me not to tell anybody about the raid, or else I'd be charged with additional crimes like destruction of evidence, things like that. And I didn't for a while. And then I got my lawyer, and my lawyer was like, "Bullshit, you can tell anybody, that's your freedom of speech. They can't intimidate me into being silent." He's advised me to shed as much light on the case as possible because when there's light on the case, then the government isn't more apt to abuse their power.
But if you didn't have anything to do with it, what kind of evidence could they possibly have?
Have they talked to you about any evidence? Have you seen any evidence?
No, they haven't talked to me at all as far as evidence finding. My lawyer is currently in the works with them in terms of getting any evidence turned over to him for review.
What are the next steps for you then?
Next step is get my stuff back [the FBI took two laptops, some flash drives and CDs, and his brother’s XBOX]. I'm going to continue online on my account, ShadowRapz, and being an activist and a hip-hop artist – basically like KRS-One, if you've ever heard of him.
Is there anything else you'd people to know?
Yeah, we're actually in the works of planning rallies. We're planning massive Twitter storms get it trending… All kinds of stuff.
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @patrickmcguire