Deric Lostutter, the online activist known as “KYAnonymous” facing federal charges of computer hacking, will remain free even though he violated the conditions of his bond, a federal magistrate judge said Wednesday.
After a hearing in Lexington, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Wier warned Lostutter, 29, that future violations will mean revocation of the bond and going to jail while awaiting trial.
“I can tell you’re an intelligent man,” Wier told Lostutter. “Your liberty is up to you.”
Wier also told Lostutter to “abide not only the letter ... but the spirit” of bond conditions. If there are future violations, Wier said, “I’m going to be thinking ‘This is a person thumbing his nose at the court.’ Do you understand?”
“I do, your honor,” Lostutter said.
Wier said he will craft revisions to the present conditions of release. In the meantime, Lostutter must abide by Wier’s interim order that bars use of or access to the internet, cellphone, text messaging or “other communication avenue” except to contact his attorneys, the U.S. Probation Office, or any immediate family.
Wier expressed disappointment that “the ink was barely dry” on the conditions of release approved at a Sept. 7 arraignment, when he began to receive reports that Lostutter had violated those terms.
During the hearing, probation officer Mark George testified that a woman had contacted him alleging that Lostutter had sent threatening text messages to her. At George’s request, the woman sent screen shots of those texts.
Lostutter “threatened to sue her or involve her in a civil suit,” George said. The officer testified those texts were “crossing the line” of Wier’s prohibition to not harass or threaten anyone.
Another bond condition allowed Lostutter to post information such as “This is how to contribute to my defense fund.” But Assistant U.S. Attorney Neeraj Gupta alleged that Lostutter had posted online solicitations for personal living expenses. And Gupta said Lostutter had posted tweets linking to a website that described details and specifics of the criminal case against him, something that Wier had expressly prohibited.
Wier said he was less concerned about Lostutter “raising money to put a roof over his head.”
“Making this direct threat, that’s what I’m concerned about,” Wier said.
Lostutter, 29, now lives in North Carolina, but lived in Clark County in December 2012 when he allegedly took part in hacking into the computer of a man who ran a fan website for high school athletics in Steubenville, Ohio.
A few months earlier, two Steubenville High football players had been charged with raping an unconscious 16-year-old girl in a case that drew national attention.
Lostutter faces a maximum of 16 years in prison if he is convicted on the four felony charges brought against him.