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Prosecutor Stephen Heymann Compared Aaron Swartz To Rapist

Stephen Heymann

According to the MIT report on the Aaron Swartz case, federal prosecutor Stephen Heymann compared internet activist Aaron Swartz to a rapist. Heymann has already been under scrutiny for possible misconduct as his overly-aggressive tactics have been cited as being the reason for Swartz’s suicide. Now we know how far Heymann was willing to go.

The federal prosecutor who managed the Justice Department’s case against the late Aaron Swartz compared the Internet pioneer to a rapist and suggested he had “systematically revictimized” the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by not taking a plea bargain, according to a new report.

Stephen Heymann, an assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, told a lawyer for MIT on Aug. 9, 2012 that it is disturbing to him “whenever a defendant ‘systematically revictimized’ the victim, and that was what Swartz was doing by dragging MIT through hearings and a trial,” according to a memorandum recounted in MIT’s report on its conduct in the Swartz case. Heymann “analogized attacking MIT’s conduct in the case to attacking a rape victim based on sleeping with other men,” the report states.

Stay classy Steve. Why didn’t anyone else have this sophisticated insight? The lack of professionalism by Heymann has already been the subject of a complaint.

Heymann’s comments came after outside counsel for MIT told him that the institution was not looking forward to the time, disruption and stress involved in testifying at a hearing or at a trial, according to the report. Heymann also indicated he was angered that Swartz started a “wild Internet campaign” against his prosecution after he allowed him to surrender without being arrested, according to the report…

Lawyers for Swartz have filed a complaint against Heymann and asked the DOJ’s internal ethics unit to investigate his conduct.

Yes, how dare people use the internet to build support for their case. It’s an outrage. It’s something a rapist would do.

Heymann and the entire office of U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz have been under scrutiny for some time. They have lost major cases using ridiculous legal rationales, arrested the wrong people, and now even more damaging information is coming out about the Swartz Affair. The Obama Administration has yet to act on a petition to remove Carmen Ortiz from office.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.