Man Accused in Hospital Computer Hack Wages Hunger Strike

A man who acknowledges he attacked the laptop or computer network at world-renowned Boston Children's Hospital two many years in the past, costing it numerous 1000's of dollars, is waging a hunger strike in prison as he awaits trial.

Martin Gottesfeld explained his 3-week-old hunger strike was meant to deliver awareness to your therapy of troubled youths in institutions as well as the "political prosecutions" by prosecutors he considers overzealous, including U.S. Lawyer Carmen Ortiz in Massachusetts.

In U.S. District Court on Wednesday, Gottesfeld pleaded not guilty to fees of conspiracy and intentionally creating injury to protected computer systems. After the hearing, as he got up from his chair, he fell to your floor. A nurse was known as, a wheelchair was brought in and spectators had been cleared from the courtroom.

Gottesfeld's wife, Dana Gottesfeld, explained it was the 23rd day of his hunger strike. His attorney, Tor Ekeland, mentioned his fall may well are actually the outcome of weakness from his hunger strike plus the leg shackles he wore in court.

Dana Gottesfeld mentioned her husband is fighting for what he believes are human rights violations inside institutions that deal with troubled youngsters, such as drug rehabilitation facilities, hospital psychiatric wards, residential therapy centers and boot camps.

Gottesfeld has explained he orchestrated the assault on the hospital and also a connected assault about the Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, a Framingham residential therapy facility, to protest the therapy of Connecticut teenager Justina Pelletier.

Justina was at the center of a custody dispute following conflicting medical diagnoses. Tufts Medical Center in Boston had treated her for mitochondrial disease, a disorder that affects cellular energy production. Boston Children's Hospital later diagnosed her problems as psychiatric.

Following her parents rejected that diagnosis and tried to take her back to Tufts, the state Department of Children and Families took custody of her, touching off a bitter dispute.

The case drew national media interest, and various groups cited it as an example of governmental interference with parental rights.

Gottesfeld stated in a telephone interview Monday he won't eat again until his demands are met, though he acknowledged he occasionally has consumed chicken broth, Gatorade and soft drinks.

"I love my life, and I love my wife, and I want to get back to both of them very badly, but this cause is more important than any one individual," he explained from a jail in Central Falls, Rhode Island, where he's being held before trial. "And the suffering of these children must stop, as well as persecution of these advocates also must stop."

Gottesfeld wants the presidential candidates to pledge to protect institutionalized children.

He also explained people shouldn't be prosecuted for crimes he considers harmless, citing the case of Aaron Swartz, who was accused of using the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's personal computer network to download millions of articles from a scholarly archive with the intent of making them freely available about the internet. Swartz killed himself in 2013 while awaiting trial.

Gottesfeld, who is 32 and is from Somerville, just northwest of Boston, was arrested in February after he and his wife have been rescued in their motorboat off the coast of Cuba by a Disney cruise ship. Prosecutors mentioned Gottesfeld was attempting to flee the country.

The indictment against Gottesfeld alleges the assault knocked the hospital's website out of service and disabled its fundraising portal. The hospital explained it spent more than $300,000 addressing the hacking and lost another $300,000 in donations.

Gottesfeld acknowledged launching the attack but mentioned he did it to defend Pelletier and children like her.

"I haven't hurt anybody," he said. "There's no allegation that any patients had been harmed by anything that I did."

Hospital spokesman Rob Graham stated the hospital "denies any allegations of maltreatment." He wouldn't comment further due to patient privacy laws plus the criminal case.

A representative of Wayside, where Justina was transferred immediately after leaving the hospital, declined to comment.

Ortiz's spokeswoman, Christina DiIorio-Sterling, said prosecutors are aware of Gottesfeld's hunger strike. She stated if prosecutors believe a defendant's health or safety is in jeopardy "we would bring the matter to your awareness of the court, which could issue an order if appropriate."

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