In my coverage of the Lostutter case, I have not spent a great deal of time on the story of Noah McHugh. The lack of attention to Mr. Noah McHugh was due mainly because, until recently, there has not been a great deal of information subsequent to the announcement that he had entered a guilty plea and was recently sentenced.
There is certainly a lot more to the McHugh story and it took me several days to go through the mountain of paperwork I was recently provided with.
One of the first questions I had raised was “did Mr. McHugh get remanded to prison immediately upon going in front of the judge and be informed of his punishment?”
The answer, it turns out is that Mr. McHugh through his attorney, David Thomas had filed a motion to have the records of his sentencing sealed. There had been a period of time where the records had been seled but on January, 10,2017, the court made them available to the public. This was after the motion was recently denied.
As a result, I was unable to retain the answer until recently. I have been informed by someone closely following the case that McHugh will be remanded into custody on the 9th of March, 2017. The source told me that he will be attending the sentencing hearing of Deric Lostutter on March 8th.
I was finally able to obtain the mountain of paperwork that followed the actions of Mr. McHugh from the action that changed his life forever up to the present day.
Just before Christmas 2012, McHugh and Lostutter were alleged to have gained unauthorized access to the Big Red sports support page and engaged in subsequent actions that would damage the lives of a great many people.
After McHugh plead guilty to the one charge, his defense atty filed with the court, an argument citing various reasons why McHugh should receive a lenient sentence for his actions.
The defense begins to submit mitigating circumstances that would argue for a more lenient action by the court. As a result the turmoil McHugh experienced in his life is revealed.
The defense presents more evidence in an attempt to mitigate his actions. What is presented is a picture of a troubled young man that suffered a great deal because of personal issues.
The above submissions are intended to point out that McHugh was under a great deal of stress and that it was likely the reason he went against common sense when he joined in with Deric Lostutter in the alleged hacking of the website.
The defense goes on to allege bias on the part of the media might have been one reason for McHugh deciding to hack the website.
It is in the first part of the filing that we learn that McHugh actively testified against Deric Lostutter and as a result sealed his fate.
According to the Defense atty, Deric Lostutter soon appeared as the mastermind of the actions and directed McHugh accordingly.
It is alleged that Noah gained access to the website by simply guessing the log in information rather than through any sophisticated hacking methods or tools. This is a bit surprising for it has been pointed outthat Mr. McHugh is employed in the IT field and has a great deal of knowledge when it comes to hacking methods.
In the portion above, the defense argues that McHugh was mearly misguided and due to previously stated circumstances he engaged in actions he otherwise would not have.
Next comes the “I am sorry” defense. The defense points out that McHugh understands he screwed up and regrets it.
The defense continues its argument that the court should show mercy and hand down the most lenient punishment possible since McHugh is a first time offender and that there was no physical harm done to the victims of his crime.
The defense goes on to point out that this is a first offense and that Noah has lead a crime free life up to this point.
The defense then argues that probation would be the best option for the court to impose upon McHugh and points out that McHugh understands the violation of the probation terms would have dire results.
An interesting argument appears at this point. The defense cites the generally accepted fact that the human brain is not fully developed at the age of 22 which was when the actions for which he was charged occurred. The claim is being made that since he was not quite “mentally mature” it was part of the cause as to why he did things an older individual may not have.
In this part of the argument by the defense, it is pointed out that McHugh’s career in the IT field may be at an end, at least in the short term and he is considering becoming a cook.
The defense then reinforces the argument that McHugh would face serious ramifications if he were to violate the terms of his probation.
The defense then suggests a place where McHugh serve his sentence. The defense argues that it be a minimum security facility presumably a reasonable close proximity to where he currently resides.
The government, obviously, disagrees with the defense and in a “not so fast” argument offers it’s own evidence and reasons why McHugh should be given the maximum punishment allowed under the sentencing guidelines.
The government points out quite clearly the severeness of his offense and the effects it had on the innocent victims of his alleged crime.
The government goes on to point out that this was not some impulsive prank, but instead, was a well thought out plan of attack against those he and Lostutter felt were deserving of their attention.
The government pointed out that McHugh “discussed committing additional computer hacks” with his co-conspirator, Deric Lostutter.
The government made one compelling point in it’s argument “Hackers may not blame their crimes on mistake, false rumor, or fake news.”
In other words, the end does NOT justify the means.
It was finally pointed out once again by the government that McHugh was quickly confronted by the FBI after his posting about plans for more “actions.” He had also not confessed to his actions until confronted by the FBI and did not apologize to his victims.
In the end, the court sided with the government and essentially threw the book at him.
In addition to jail time, McHugh received 4 months of house arrest and probation. The conditions of his probation are quite severe as well.
In addition to the standard conditions came “special conditions” that added to the severity of his punishment.
The court has ordered that McHugh not access the internet or even a smart phone during his house arrest and probation for the 4 month period. He is not even allowed to have a cordless telephone.
And then there is the matter of the fine. McHugh could have faced a fine up to $100,000 but he got off lightly but still was hit quite hard when it came to his monetary obligations to the court.
This is still a hefty fine since McHugh may not be employed in a high paying job at the moment. His hacking escapades has done a great deal of harm to his IT career and he may never work in that field again as it affords a certain amount of trust from his potential employer.
He also had to pay the fine IMMEDIATELY. There was no installment plan for him to spread out payments over an extended period of time. This means that if he did not have the money in the bank to cover the funds, he had to have one hell of a yard sale and say good bye to his 401k if he had one.
Then the court took one more action to “pour salt on his wounds.”
McHugh “lost the tools of the trade.” He lost his computer and anything else that was used to hack the website. That would be just about everything that was siezed under the search warrant.
In the end, all Noah McHugh accomplished was to destroy his own life and damage the lives of the innocent victims of his actions.
He did not solve the case nor did he obtain justice for anyone. In fact, just the opposite happened. Many potential witnesses were forced into silence in order to avoid the attention of McHugh and Lostutter.
IF there were any more people who were guilty of taking part in the alleged rape and the events that followed, they will remain unknown as a direct result of McHugh and Lostutters actions.
In March, Deric Lostutter will learn his fate. It is likely his punishment will be far more severe than Mr. McHugh’s since he is the alleged mastermind of the hacking and the actions that followed.
The government stated that it wanted to make an example of Noah McHugh in order to deter other hackers from these actions.
The government will want to do the same with Deric Lostutter.
Kamiyah Mobley was kidnapped from a Jacksonville, Florida hospital on July 10th, 1998, She was found alive in Walterboro, S.C. and Gloria Williams, 51, has been charged as being connected to the case.
Kamiyah, now a normal teenager has to process the fact that her last 18 years of life has been a fraud. This brings up yet another famous case where a child that was kidnapped was found over a decade later.
Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped by a couple in 1991. She was discovered when she attended a parole hearing with her kidnapper and biological father to her two daughters she had while in captivity.
These are but two stories of how missing children are found a few years or even a few decades after they have vanished.
There are two children still missing here in Florida that have garnered lots of attention as well as many still missing who have not received as much attention.
Haleigh Cummings and Trenton Duckett are still missing and their cases remain open. While many have given up hope, those who are their survivors, their families have not.
The poor judge that will be sentencing Deric Lostutter this coming March has had to put up with a massive number of letters to him advocating two differing positions when it comes to how he should deal with Deric Lostutter when he comes before the judge this coming March. Most of those letters want the most severe punishment possible to be levied against Mr. Losttuter but there are a few that consider Mr. Lostutter a victim of circumstances and have stated their points of views.
One of the more interesting letters comes from a Colonial Beach, Virginia resident by the name of Susan Earman. Ms. Earman is known by many for her obsession with the Haleigh Cummings case. She is purported to support Tim Holmseth and now Deric Lostutter from a group of individuals she labels “executioners” and who she claims is engaging in less than honorable actions having to do with their involvement in a number of true crime cases.
Now, while there is no death penalty involved in the crimes that Mr Lostutter confessed to, Ms Earman decided to go dramatic in her sarcastic letter to the judge.
The individuals that Ms. Earman is referring to in her letter are the same ones that show up in many of the twitter bio rants that Ms. Earman is known for.
Ms. Earman continues with her narrative:
Unfortunately, what Ms. Earman fails to disclose to the judge is that Mr. Lostutter turned on his former supporters. It is alleged that he borrowed $200.00 from a woman who could not afford to loan him the money, and he has yet to pay her back. Instead, he is suing her for telling the truth about him.
In another case, Mr. Lostutter involved the Grandchild of a former supporter in one of his tirades. It was this horrific act that compelled me to follow his civil and criminal cases and I have become increasingly concerned what I have turned up to date.
For some strange reason Ms. Earman disregards these actions and goes on to defend Mr. Lostutter.
While it might be her right to come to the defense of Mr. Lostutter it should also be the responsibility for Ms. Earman to thoroughly examine the facts both positive and negative in regards to Mr. Lostutter.
Her letter indicates that this is something that she clearly has not done.
To get a measure of what sentence Deric Lostutter might receive one might want to take into consideration the sentence handed down to 26 year old Noah McHugh.
Mr. McHugh plead guilty, last year to accessing a computer without authorization. He is alleged to have done so by guessing the password of the website in question and then passing that information along to Deric Lostutter.
Mr. Lostutter, in turn plead guilty to two counts having to do with this incident. He plead guilty to conspiring to hack a website and lying to the FBI.
On Monday, January 9th, 2017 Mr. McHugh was sentenced to 8 months in prison and 4 months of house arrest for a total of 12 months.
At first glance, some may consider the sentence Mr McHugh received a slap on the wrist or moderate. Quite the opposite is true. The sentence imposed is the most severe that the judge can hand out for an offense that is not a felony.
Mr. Lostutter, on the other hand, has plead guilty to two felony counts having to do with the incident. The charges in question are far more severe than the one charge against Mr. McHugh and had a more profound effect on the victims of both Mr. McHugh and Mr. Lostutter.
In addition to these charges, Mr. Lostutter violated the terms of his pre trial probation at least twice. A large number of people, including this author, have written to the judge that will decide his punishment, expressing their concerns about his conduct over the past several years.
Each charge that Mr. Lostutter has plead guilty to carry a maximum of around 4 years each. Again, these are felonies which also means that certain rights will be forfeited upon sentencing. One of those rights will be the right to vote. He will also be required to list the felony convictions on applications for employment and may well be denied employment in any computer related field due to the nature of these crimes.
While Mr. Lostutter may have had good intentions at one point when coming to the defense of a survivor of a rape by two teen aged football parties, his actions went beyond what would have been considered justified and instead, became criminal.
Moreover, Mr. Lostutter took advantage of the fame generated by his actions to seek donations for both his personal and legal expenses.
Again, number of people have expressed over the years, their strong concerns about Mr. Lostutter’s actions from both those who used to be his allies and supporters as well as those who feel they are the victims of Mr. Lostutter’s actions and alleged threats.
Mr. Lostutter has seen fit to file numerous civil complaints against those who he claims have defamed and harassed him.
While it is true that supporters of Mr. Lostutter have written to the judge, they pale in comparison to those many letters that have been sent to the judge advocating the most severe punishment possible to be levied against him.
The sentencing in March 2017 may well reflect what the judge thinks of these actions based on the letters he has received.
The judge may well choose to use Mr. Lostutter’s sentencing to send a message to those who would choose to engage in similar actions, that there will be consequences for those actions.
There is another story of Deric suing someone in a publication that Deric is suing. The one thing I have noticed is that the critics of Deric and also those who support him think he is filing these lawsuits in order to win.
It is my opinion that Deric has a different goal entirely. In general, A civil attorney will not take a defamation or libel lawsuit unless the client pays a very large retainer fee. The attorney also will not take the case until they thoroughly warn the prospective client that it is hard to get a jury to rule in favor of a plaintiff or even get the case in court to begin with.
Most civil suits are dismissed right out of the starting gate. The net result is that the plaintiff finds it too expensive to bother with and gives up.
Not so with Deric. He has gone farther with his current lawsuit than anyone ever expected and he is now accused of threatening two woman in Kentucky with a lawsuit as well.
Deric decided to become his own lawyer, thus cutting out the middle man and is going down a route rarely taken by someone who feels they have been wronged. Does Deric think he is going to prevail in court? Does Deric think he is going to win?
The answer to both questions is no, sort of.
Deric plans on winning but not in the way most people think. He is actually going to win by losing.
Deric is probably one of the most effective users of propaganda on the internet I have seen in quite some time. He has set up what could be considered a media empire of sorts where he has exploited the fame he derived from the Steubenville rape case and has set up a network of donation sites from which he has garnered quite an income.
His many civil lawsuits and even his current criminal cases are only an extension of his propaganda machine.
Deric plans on winning his war against his critics by losing his civil cases or having them eventually dismissed.
The defendants took a different and what would normally be a winning course of action when they were forced to defend themselves.
They hired a lawyer.
Now, of course, anyone reading this would think that they are going to win and Deric will lose and ultimately pay a price for putting the defendants through this unnecessary grief.
There is just one problem. Lawyers are expensive, VERY expensive. Their hourly fees are measured in the HUNDREDS of dollars. Civil attorneys usually require retainers of several thousand dollars before even taking a case.
There are also additional expenses to be picked up by the defendants. There are filing fees, expenses associated with taking depositions, filing discovery requests, paying for investigators and also expert witnesses in some cases.
This is where Deric is winning. He is wearing down his enemies financially. So far this case has cost the defendants thousands of dollars.
None of the defendants have enough assets to make a lawsuit worthwhile. Two of the defendants are single women barely making ends meet.
To top things off, many both outside and within the legal communities feel that Deric will lose his case. It will likely soon be dismissed.
Deric, however, is going to win simply by financially ruining his critics. He has wasted hours upon hours of their time. He has cost them dearly financially. He has used the court system to air his propaganda against them as well as an excuse to beg for legal expenses to fight them.
He has also caused the women he is suing a lot of stress and anguish. He has sided with the alleged stalker of one woman and as a result found himself as an asset, the alleged stalker seeking his own retribution against her.
The term for what Deric is doing is a SLAPP lawsuit.
“A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. … The typical SLAPP plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit.”
In short, Deric is going to win by being a pain in the ass.
The losers will be his critics, the truth and the first amendment.
It always seems that we go into a new year with all kinds of resolutions and promises to start anew. Most of the time, however, circumstances intervenes and the best of intentions are lost as a result.Once more we have that chance as we begin the year 2017.
For the past few years, many of us have sparred over what now seems to be inconsequential differences.The various battles and disagreements have been harsh and deeply hurtful.
Recently, however, we have all begun to understand that most of our battles were due to outside influences that none of us were unaware of and that were unwanted.
Out of this revelation came the understanding that despite any differences or disagreements we may have with each other, we can find common ground and come out of the situation as friends.
Nobody expects the coming year to be perfect, but we can all hope that this is a better year than those in the past and that future years will become better and more fulfilling for all.
For my friends both old and new, I wish you all good health, happiness and prosperity for all.