The man who acknowledges he attacked the computer network at world-renowned Boston children's hospital two years ago, costing it hundreds of thousands of dollars, is unapologetic and now waging a hunger strike in prison as he awaits trial.
Martin Gottesfeld claims the hospital hacking was to protest the treatment of a teenage patient caught up in a custody fight between Massachusetts and her parents.
He said his three-week-old hunger strike is to bring attention to two more causes: the treatment of troubled youth in institutions and “political prosecutions” by prosecutors he considers overzealous, including U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz in Massachusetts.
Gottesfeld wants the presidential candidates to pledge to protect children who've been sent to residential treatment centers, psychiatric hospitals and other institutions. He also said people shouldn't be prosecuted for crimes he considers harmless, citing the case of Aaron Swartz, who was accused of using MIT's computer network to download millions of articles from a scholarly archive with the intent of making them freely available on the internet.
Swartz took his own life in 2013 while awaiting trial.
In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Gottesfeld said he will not eat again until these demands are met. However, he acknowledges that he occasionally has consumed chicken broth, Gatorade and soft drinks. Still, he said his weight has dropped from 204 pounds to 182.
“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. And the suffering of these children must stop, and the persecution of these advocates also must stop,” he said from the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls
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